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6 Signs your Chimney Needs to be Cleaned

Your chimney plays an essential role in drawing smoke and other harmful pollutants out of your home, ensuring that your fireplace works safely and efficiently. And just like any other system in your home, your chimney requires regular cleaning to do its job safely. Without regular cleanings, creosote -a highly-flammable, tar-like byproduct of burning wood - can ignite and cause a chimney fire. Here are six signs that your chimney needs to be cleaned:

1. Frequent Use

We recommend cleaning your chimney at least once a year - more frequently if your fireplace is used often. If you love to enjoy nightly fires, schedule additional cleanings to keep creosote from building up.

2. Smoke in Your Home

If you notice smoke in your home, this could be a sign of a dirty or obstructed chimney. A dirty chimney restricts airflow, causing smoke and harmful gases to accumulate in your home. When your chimney is functioning correctly, it should draw smoke and other pollutants out of your home.

3. Difficulty Starting a Fire

If you have trouble starting a fire in your fireplace it could be due to a blockage or buildup of creosote in your chimney. When the chimney is clogged, the smoke cannot escape, and the airflow is restricted, making it challenging to start a fire.

4. Slow Burning Fire

If your fire burns slowly or doesn't burn as hot as it used to, this could be a sign of a blockage or buildup of creosote in your chimney. A restricted airflow can cause the fire to burn less efficiently, producing less heat.

5. Presence of Animals

Chimneys are a popular nesting place for small animals such as birds, squirrels, and raccoons. If you hear rustling or scratching sounds in your chimney, it's a sign that animals have taken up residence there. Animal nests and debris can block your chimney, preventing smoke and gases from leaving your home.

Pro Tip: Got animals? A chimney cap can prevent small critters from entering and nesting in your chimney. Our CCP-certified chimney professionals can help you select and install one today.

6. Burning Smell and Flakes

As creosote accumulates on the walls of your chimney, it can produce a strong burning odor. You may also notice creosote debris or flakes on the surface of your firebox.

Chimney Cleaning and Inspections in NH and MA

Is your chimney due for its next cleaning? Contact our CCP-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney. We can clean and inspect your chimney to improve its safety and efficiency, and ensure that your home is safe and comfortable.

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