Owning a home with a fireplace is great. It gives you the option to cuddle up in front of a warm fire on cold winter nights. Better yet, you can save on heating costs by using your fireplace instead of your heating unit.
However, one downside to having a fireplace is that you also have a chimney that needs to be cleaned regularly. Ideally, you should have a professional service set you up on a regular maintenance schedule to keep your chimney in great shape. However, it's also wise to educate yourself on the warning signs that you're more than overdue for a chimney cleaning.
Starting a Fire Becomes Difficult
Did you find that you were suddenly having a very hard time getting a fire started? Maybe you got it started only to have it extinguish itself in a matter of seconds. Sometimes, these problems can be due to improper technique on your part. If you're doing everything right, however, you could be dealing with a dirty chimney. When a chimney is dirty and clogged, air cannot flow properly, which can make it impossible to get or keep a fire going. Thus, if you're experiencing these problems, it's probably time for a professional cleaning.
It's Been a Year or More Since Your Last Cleaning
At the bare minimum, most chimneys need to be cleaned at least once per year. Ideally, you'll have your chimney cleaned more than that. If you've been a bit lax about chimney cleaning and you suddenly find it's been a year or more since your last cleaning, it's definitely time. In the future, make an effort to never go past the year mark on cleanings. Doing so could set you up for a chimney fire and other serious risks.
You Smell Something Bad
Finally, take notice of how it smells when you light a fire in your fireplace. If you're experiencing anything other than that pleasant fireplace smell, especially if it smells foul, it's time for a cleaning. Trapped gases, dead animals, or smelly debris could all be reasons for the nasty odor. Problems with the updraft system could also lead to bad smells. In any case, an unpleasant odor means it's time to clean.
If you want to continue enjoying your fireplace for years to come, take good care of your chimney. Contact a professional service to take care of all of your maintenance and chimney cleanings now and in the future.
For more information, contact a company like Mercer County Chimney Services.