A crackling fire is a great place to gather and creates a relaxed vibe in any home. But, if the chimney hasn’t been cleaned in years, it’s time to hire a chimney sweeper.
The last thing you want is to end up in a room full of smoke from a dirty chimney, or worse, with a chimney fire that puts your home at risk. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that homeowners inspect a chimney and fireplace annually, and to clean open masonry fireplaces when there is 1/8 inch of soot built up, or more quickly if glaze has built up inside.

Three ways to clean a chimney
There are three methods that a professional can use to clean a chimney.
The top-down method: Cleaning from the top down involves climbing onto the roof, with chimney cleaning supplies (notably a stiff wire brush that fits the space, flexible rods, and a weight of some sort), lowering the brush into the chimney, and moving it back and forth in a scrubbing motion.
The bottom-up method: Cleaning from the bottom up requires the same tools and actions, scrubbing the inside of the chimney.
The dual line method: This method gets messy, but with a partner and a line attached to both ends of the brush, the entire chimney area can get cleaned, as each partner takes turns pulling the rope and brush inside the chimney. The downside to this method is that there is no way to close the fireplace space to keep the grime inside during cleaning.
No matter which method a chimney cleaning professional chooses, you’ll want to ensure that the area inside the home around the fireplace is protected from soot. Cover all furniture and floors, if the company doesn’t do it for you.