Q. How often should I have my chimney swept?

A. This is the most often asked question. It depends on what you burn, how often you use your fireplace and how you burn. The National Fireplace Protection Agency recommends annual inspections and cleaning as required.


Q. Why should I have my chimney swept?

A. The primary reason to have your chimney swept is to minimize the risk of a chimney fire. Having your chimney swept increases the fireplace’s performance and efficiency.


Q. Should I have a spark arrestor on my chimney?

A. Yes. In most areas spark arrestors are required. The correct spark arrestor is sized for your chimney. It prevents sparks from leaving the chimney and prevents rodents, animals, and birds from entering your chimney. It should also prevent water from entering the chimney.


Q. Are all fireplaces the same?

A. No. There are several types of fireplaces. Some are built to codes (or should be,) others are installed to the Manufacturer’s installation instructions (or should be.) Quite often we find that codes or instructions were not followed.


Q. Do wood stoves or fireplace inserts need to be swept?

A. Yes. For the same reasons as a fireplace should be swept.


Q. Do gas fireplaces need to be serviced?

A. Yes. Gas fireplaces and gas stoves should be serviced periodically to maintain their operational efficiency.


Q. Why was my damper blocked in the open position when I had my gas log set installed?

A. California code requires that the damper be blocked in the open position. If you get a down draft consider installing glass doors.


Q. My fireplace smokes into the house whenever I use it. What causes this?

A. There are many reasons a fireplace can smoke, certainly too many to list here. It could be as simple as having your fireplace swept or it could be we would have to determine whether your house is “too tight” and have to install an auxiliary air supply.  Cathedral or vaulted ceilings, recessed lighting, house heater, bath room and kitchen fans could all have an adverse effect on the fireplace performance.

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