Clogged or defective chimneys can be life-threatening. That is why they must be cleaned annually, before the beginning of the cold season.
First of all, you need to know that a chimney that is not cleaned increases the risk of fire. The chimney clogs with soot and other residues from burning, and this can cause a fire, but also increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
At the same time, the soot collected on the chimney decreases the efficiency of the stove, the boiler, or the oven. Burning is no longer efficient, and they do not produce as much heat.
Chimney deposits also appear from burning wood with a humidity of over 20%, but it is not the only problem. During the summer, birds can make a nest in the chimney, the dry leaves can be blown away by the wind or spider webs appear.
How much does it cost the chimney sweeping?
The cost of chimney sweeping is influenced by a few factors such as the difficulty of the job and the geographical location. In general, chimney cleaning costs anywhere between $155 and $360. For a video inspection, you should plan on spending around $220.
It is important to mention that some companies charge separately for the cleanings and the inspections.
You would have to pay anywhere between $55 and $110 for the inspection, or even more for a video inspection, and for the actual cleaning another $155.
Chimney sweeping overview
Cleaning the chimney flue through professional cleaning services with an authorized chimney sweep is essential for the proper functioning of your fireplace or stove. Also, efficiency is conditioned by the maintenance and cleaning of the exhaust duct. So, pay close attention to cleaning your chimney. Remember that this must be done annually, before the start of the cold season. For your safety, use a qualified chimney sweep or an authorized sweeping company to clean the chimneys.
Mechanical cleaning is done with special tools and equipment to remove soot and tar deposits from inside the chimney. The evacuation routes of fireplaces, stoves, and wood-fired boilers must be mechanically cleaned by an authorized chimney sweep. Cleaning ceramic chimneys with mothballs, potato peelings, or salt or with various sachets or chemicals at good prices, does not exclude the visit of a professional chimney sweep and the usage of quality service.
It is also recommended to clean the connection channel from the heat source to the chimney. This is the verification of the external and internal parts of the chimney, in order to observe the possible problems that appeared in time due to the exploitation.
Never rely on the fact that the chimney seems to work well and do not use chemical solutions or powders, or untested products at low prices. Fire is not a game! Not even with the chimney – so make sure the fireplace and its drain are in optimal working order. Clean and check the chimney periodically and professionally, through a sweeping company.
To avoid self-ignition of the chimney, it is recommended to clean the chimney at least twice a year (at the beginning and end of the cold season). If the main heating is with solid fuel, it is necessary to clean the chimney every three months during the cold season.
What are the extra costs?
When cleaning a chimney, you should consider some extra costs for related services such as:
- Chimney crown repair, which is anywhere between $110 and $410;
- Dryer vent cleaning, with a cost of $110 to $310;
- Chimney waterproofing, that cost anywhere between $210 and $455;
- Wood/pellet stove cleaning, which is $100 to $310;
- Replacing a chimney cap, that cost anywhere between $110 and $510;
- Cleaning a gas or an oil furnace flue, that cost anywhere between $155 and $260;
- Cleaning a fireplace insert, with a cost of $155 to $310;
- Rebuilding a firebox, which costs anywhere between $500 and $3,100.
How to choose a chimney sweeping professional?
Make sure you search and ask for multiple price offers before hiring a chimney sweep company. Pay attention to the costs that are incredibly low or high. Also, ask for a detailed list of charges in writing before and do not settle for a verbal quote.
Avoid the companies that offer prices lower than $35 because these are not that reputable and will quickly add extra expenses to the job once they get to your door, saying that your chimney has to be repaired.
Also, the companies that are trying to sell their services from door-to-door are less than reputable. The chances are high to quote you a low price at first and after that, claim your chimney needs really expensive repairs.