For many parts of the country, winter arrives in October and cold temperatures stick around through March and April. Here in Tennessee, however, our winter season is just getting started! If you put off chimney maintenance until colder temperatures arrived, now is the perfect time to have your fireplace system serviced.

The Importance of Annual Chimney Sweepings

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends all homeowners have their chimneys swept at least once per year; this includes gas burning fireplaces as well as fireplaces that are infrequently used. Chimneys should also be swept any time 1/8th of an inch of buildup occurs in the flue. For most fireplaces, this amount of buildup occurs after one full cord of wood is burned. If you burn more than this in a single season, while may be the case with fireplaces that are used as a primary heat source, consider having the chimney swept once mid-winter.

Five Reasons to Have Your Chimney Swept This WinterWoman warming her hands by a fire

Sitting in front of a cozy, crackling fire is one of the best ways to stay warm in cold weather. Make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean and safe to use by having them swept and inspected before the coldest part of winter arrives. The following are five reasons to have your chimney serviced now.

1. Reduce the risk of a chimney fire
Creosote buildup in the flue is one of the primary causes of accidental chimney fire. Creosote is a naturally occurring, yet extremely flammable, byproduct of combustion. When allowed to buildup in the chimney over time creosote can be ignited by stray sparks or small embers, leading to a chimney fire. Annual chimney sweeping, particularly at the beginning of the burning season, can reduce the risk of chimney fire.

2. Find damage or deterioration
While cracks in the chimney or water in the firebox are obvious signs that chimney damage has occurred, most deterioration starts small. Having the fireplace and chimney inspected by a trained professional at least once per year can help identify deteriorating areas when they are still small; this allows damage to be repaired quickly and easily, avoiding costly future repairs – and further chimney damage.

3. Increase the lifespan of your fireplace
Chimneys are built to last – but how long they last is widely dependent on maintenance. Regular preventative maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your fireplace system and keep it burning safely and efficiently for years to come.

4. Improve efficiency
Having the flue swept and removing soot, ash, and creosote buildup can also help improve the efficiency of your fireplace. When the flue is clear the fireplace can draft correctly and fuel can burn completely; this helps you get the most out of each piece of wood while preventing smoke and harmful gasses from backing up into your home.

5. Keep homeowners insurance current
Some homeowners insurance policies require an annual sweeping and inspection by a certified chimney sweep. Check with your individual policy to see if this is required; if evidence of professional cleaning is required, make sure to hold on to documentation.

Don’t Delay – Schedule Your Appointment Today!

It’s not too late this winter to have your chimney serviced. With the brunt of Tennessee winter still to come, there is still time to have your fireplace swept and inspected before the heaviest use season for your chimney system arrives. Contact Cooperstown Services today to schedule your next chimney sweeping and inspection.