Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

Chimney Sweeping: It’s Not Just for Cold Weather


Your chimney is an important and beautiful feature of your home. Even if you don’t light a fire in it very often, most of us still think of our fireplace hearth as the “heart” of our homes. Certainly, most people don’t even think about cleaning their chimney unless the weather is really cold and you’re using the chimney often. But, what many people don’t realize is that even in climate zones (like the Southeast) that experience mild winters, it’s still important to clean the chimney—even if you don’t fire it up very often.

Basic Chimney Sweep - Even during mild winters, your chimney needs to be regularly swept

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you have your chimney cleaned at least once a year. The reason for this is the simple science of how soot and dirt collects in your chimney. When the weather is warm, the air flowing through your chimney slows down. When the airflow is stifled, it means that the dirt, dust and creosote stay in your chimney longer. So, even if you aren’t using your chimney the way you do when the weather is really cold, the chimney is still getting dirty. Any time you have a build up of creosote in your chimney, you are at risk for a chimney fire. This build up can also cause a terrible odor in your home. If you have a leak in your chimney, the odor will worsen and the damp mix can cause mold, causing upper respiratory issues. A dirty chimney will also give off an unpleasant odor.

So, even though you live in a warmer climate and you don’t really think chimney cleaning and maintenance should be high on your priority list, you should remember that reduced airflow in warmer weather means even more buildup of creosote. It’s a good idea think about chimney maintenance all year long—for your health and safety.



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National Chimney Sweeps Guild Chimney Safety Institute of America