FAQs & Appointment Tips
Do you have chimney questions that need answers? Do you want to know how to prepare for your chimney cleaning appointment? Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, as well as some appointment tips. If you still don’t find what you’re looking for, please reach out to us 970-234-3330! We’re here to help!
Wood Stoves, Fireplaces & Inserts/Pellet Stoves
Q: How often should I have my chimney or stove inspected?
A: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 states that “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
Q: How often should I have my chimney swept?
A: A good rule of thumb for wood stoves, fireplaces, and inserts is to schedule a sweep every 1-3 cords of wood depending on the appliance type, efficiency rating, venting set up, and other operation factors. A cord is a stack of wood 4’ tall x 4’ wide x 8’ long. For pellet appliances, a good rule of thumb is to have your pellet stove or insert cleaned and serviced every year, or every 2-3 tons of pellets burned (there are roughly 40-50 bags of pellets per ton) —whichever comes first.
Q: My fireplace stinks. What can I do?
A: If the smell is worse during the spring, summer, or fall, most likely, what you’re smelling is creosote. Creosote deposits in the chimney are a natural result of burning wood. Due to air pressure in the house, outside air is being pulled down into the chimney, flowing past the creosote deposits, and bringing the smell of creosote with it.
If you have a masonry fireplace, a top-mounted damper can be installed to eliminate airflow down the chimney and hopefully eradicate the smell as well. Alternatively, there are chimney deodorizing products which can help, or you could try placing a box of baking soda or a tub of cat litter inside the fireplace or wood stove.
But one thing to remember is that creosote is highly flammable and highly corrosive, so the best course of action is to schedule a cleaning. We have the tools, products, and techniques to remove even the toughest creosote, eliminating the odors and dangers that creosote brings.
Q: I heard that pellet stoves can’t have chimney fires. Is this true?
A: For years, many believed that pellet stoves and inserts couldn’t cause chimney fires, but that’s simply not true. Time has shown that pellet stove and insert flues do become dirty enough to cause — and sustain — chimney fires.
Gas Stoves, Fireplaces & Inserts
Q: How often should I have my gas stove or fireplace inspected and cleaned?
A: Most gas fireplace and stove manufacturers recommend having a qualified technician out to service your gas fireplace, stove, or insert annually. This ensures that during the off-season, your flue has not become blocked by birds, animals, nesting materials, or other debris; your flashing, cap, or other protective chimney components haven’t failed to keep water out; and that your wiring and controls are all still functioning as they should. It also allows us to refresh and replace the embers and clean the inside of your appliance so it continues to look good and run at optimal levels.
Q: My gas stove or fireplace smells bad when I burn it and it gives me a headache. What should I do?
A: If your gas appliance smells or you get headaches when it’s in use, schedule an inspection with a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweep. There are a few possible explanations for what’s happening:
- It’s possible that your unit may actually be leaking gas, which could cause headaches, nausea, and other health issues. If you experience headaches, a metallic taste in your mouth, or you get lightheaded when your gas appliance is in use, please call us right away.
- Dust can be another common cause of smells with gas fireplaces, stoves, and inserts. As the unit sits, possibly over the summer or even over years, dust accumulates. When the appliance is fired up, the dust is “cooked off.” While this is normal with gas appliances that are used infrequently, some people may be more sensitive to it than others.
Q: What should I do if smoke is visibly pouring out of my gas stove or fireplace?
A: Smoke should never be pouring off of, out of, or from your gas stove, fireplace, or insert, so if this happening in your home, you should call a certified chimney professional right away, as this can be indicative of much larger problems.
Q: How often should I have my dryer vents cleaned out and inspected?
A: In commercial dryer applications, it is recommended that dryer vents be professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year. In residential settings, we also recommend having them cleaned, serviced, and inspected annually, or whenever these symptoms are present.
By making dryer vent inspections and cleanings a regular part of your annual maintenance, you can greatly reduce the risk of dryer vent fire and energy waste, and boost your dryer’s efficiency and performance.
Still have questions? Call 970-234-3330 and we’ll answer them!
There is a lot to consider when someone is coming into your home to clean and inspect your chimney or heating appliance, and we know you’re busy. Here are a few quick tips you may find helpful when scheduling and preparing for your chimney cleaning appointment.
- For the fastest service possible, we ask that you try to schedule your annual chimney cleaning and inspection during the spring and summer. Fall and winter are the most hectic times as chimney sweeps, and we may be booked out several weeks when you try to schedule during these times. To avoid this, once we’ve cleaned your chimney the first time, we can put you on a yearly reminder list or a scheduled visit, so you can get taken care of quickly in the off-season. With the reminder list or scheduled visit, you’ll get the fastest service, and when it comes time to light a fire in your heating appliance, you’ll know it’s ready to go.
- In anticipation of our arrival, please stop using your stove, fireplace, insert, or dryer vent 24-hours before we are scheduled to arrive. For hearth appliances, we ask that you remove any ashes from the ashbox (if applicable). We also ask that you move any valuables or other objects from the area around your appliance, so we’ll have plenty of room to set up our tools and protect your home and valuables from any soot or debris removed during cleaning.
- When we clean dryer vents and chimneys and their connected appliances, we use special HEPA-filtered vacuums and drop clothes to protect your home from any dirt, soot, lint, or debris which may be removed during cleaning. Great care is taken to keep your home as pristine as it was before our arrival.
We’ve designed our website to be a resource for our customers and we hope you’ve found it to be helpful. We look forward to working with you! If you have any questions between now and your appointment, please reach out to us here on our website or call 970-234-3330.
We keep up with our certifications and association memberships and our customers love that about us. It means they can rely on our being up to date on all the latest hearth-related tips, technologies and techniques.