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Winter and Disaster Prep

Is Your Fireplace Ready for Winter?


Cooler weather has started to arrive around the country, and it is important that you have your heating appliances and their venting systems inspected before the fireplace season.

The National Fire Protection Association states that chimneys, vents, and fireplaces shall be inspected annually at a minimum. An inspection can determine if your heating appliance and the attached venting system are suitable for continued use. This inspection will determine if there are any defects in your chimney that will prevent it from performing its intended function and if the chimney needs to be swept. 

The dangers of not sweeping your chimney

Wood burning appliances, such as wood stoves and fireplaces, have the potential to deposit flammable creosote into the chimney flue, which could ignite and cause a chimney fire. Chimneys are not designed to withstand direct combustion. A chimney fire may damage your chimney and could ignite the entirety of your home. Creosote is also corrosive and will cause your chimney to deteriorate if not removed regularly.

We often think that chimney maintenance is only necessary when you are burning wood but that is not the case. Chimneys that vent furnaces, boilers, and water heaters also need regular inspection and maintenance. The flue gases produced when burning gas and oil to heat your home are even more corrosive than creosote. Some of the things that are commonly found during an inspection are deteriorating chimney flues and bird or animal nests that could create blockages in your flue. All combustion in home heating appliances is incomplete, which produces carbon monoxide. This carbon monoxide can spill into your home and endanger you and your family if the chimney is not adequate.

To find a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep® in your area, visit

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