Should You Clean a Chimney When Not in Use?

Electric fireplace owners often ask this question. “Do I need to clean my chimney even though I don’t use it.” You need to have your chimney cleaned prior to installation of a new insert and annual inspections should still be scheduled.

Clean Chimney When Not in Use Electric Fireplace

A job well done! Source: Carpet Cleaning of Norfolk VA

Although you are not at risk of fire, critters, rodents, and birds have been known to build nests inside the flue. To solve this, you can install a chimney cap to prevent anything from your fireplace from the roof. Chimney caps are relatively inexpensive ($100) and can be found at local hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowes.

Cleaning a Chimney for a Fireplace Insert

For best practice, make sure that you give your chimney a thorough cleaning before you install a new insert. You can try do it yourself by following this 4 Step Guide from WikiHow. Chimney logs can also be a simple solution.

Alternatively, it’s not a bad idea to hire a chimney sweeping professional to do this for you. You want to make sure that your chimney is completely free of soot, creosote buildup, and miscellaneous debris. It only takes a small amount of creosote glazing and a spark to create a chimney fire. It is a highly flammable substance.

Freeze and thawing cycles combine with moisture. This can take a toll on your chimney liner even if you don’t use it. For this reason, you should have your chimney inspected occasionally to make sure that your chimney is creating problems for your homes structure.

Chimney Cleaning Before and After

Chimney Cleaning Before and After courtesy of West Star Chimneys.

Resources for Wood Burning Stoves:

  1. Top 10 Tips for Wood Stove Safety
  2. Firewood for the Discerning Eye: How to Pick the Best Logs
  3. How to Have a Magnificent Wood Fire EVERY TIME

How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be swept at 1/8” of soot buildup or sooner if a glaze begins to develop. In general, you should have your fireplace inspected annually. If you convert to an electric fireplace, it’s best to have it professionally inspected and cleaned prior to installation. This will help you sleep easy at night.

Tired of Cleaning Your Flue?

One of the benefits of an electric fireplace is the incredibly low-maintenance! Not sure if an electric fireplace is right for you? Get the answer to all of your questions! These are the answer to the 10 Most Asked Questions about Electric Fireplaces.