One of the most frequent causes of toxic exhaust gases entering your home is through a dirty stack. As poisonous fumes and smoke are released, soot and tar are left behind on the fireplace walls and flue. These items quickly turn into creosote, an extremely flammable material. This material is known for catching fire and damaging the home if not cleaned regularly. Therefore, if it is not checked regularly the cost of the cleaning can get expensive.
Most experts suggest an annual cleaning and inspection of your fireplace to ensure proper maintenance. However, this yearly washing price can vary significantly on the fireplace type, the number of parts associated with the fireplace, and how much work is required.
When you want to maximize efficiency and remove potential dangers, a clean smokestack is vital. Each of the different heating appliances in your home will have a separate exhaust stack meaning that different cleaning approaches are needed.
For example, one of the most affordable heating appliances is a gas fireplace. A gas fireplace does not always have a stack, but a lack of a stack increases carbon monoxide risk. When burning gas, soot and creosote do not collect, making maintenance easier. Gas fireplaces should be cleaned annually or every other year and average from $80-$130.
An environmentally-friendly way to heat your house is a pellet stove. This type of fireplace burns pellets that leave a residue. This residue must be cleaned weekly from the stove firebox. Some contractors will only provide pellet stove cleaning and smokestack cleaning separately. It will cost between $130 to $200 for a pellet stove cleansing.
As wood burns, it creates creosote, which means a wood stove must have annual cleansings also. Wood stoves, similar to fireplaces, can be ideal homes for animals. This type of fireplace cleansing typically ranges from $150 to $300.
The final type of fireplace is the typical wood-burning fireplace. Most contractors will recommend annual cleanings for fireplaces with more than 30 fires each year. The cost for this stack sweep ranges from $100 to $300 or $75 an hour. The process generally takes about 30 minutes to an hour but can take up to a full day depending on the inspection level.
Another variant when it comes to the price of a sweep is the number of parts. This number depends significantly on the complexity of the smokestack. Most stacks have the following elements: flue, liner, firebox, and damper.
Each of these different parts requires a different cleansing style, including tools and techniques. You will pay more for more features. However, regular maintenance can save you time and money in the future. Routine maintenance increases the lifespan of the fireplace.
In the above section, we discussed the price for each of the different types of heating elements. However, additional considerations and costs may be added to those base amounts. For example, if your stove inserts do not have a liner going to the top of the stack, they must be removed. This process can add $20 or more to the base amount.
For an additional $50 to $75, you can ask your contractor to complete a camera inspection when they clean the stack. If trees are over the pile, most contractors will trim the trees for another $75 to $500. These items are just some examples of how you will pay extra for extra work.
Most experts will also offer the following advice when it comes to maintenance:
- Meager prices for a sweep may indicate a scam.
- Sprinkle the excess ash and creosote on flower beds and plants to add calcium
- Ask for your contractor’s certification
- Burn only dry wood to help prevent creosote
- Fire safety experts recommend a sweep every year if you burn more than 30 fires annually
- Consistently clean your fireplace with a long-handled flexible brush
Before hiring a contractor, you should understand the steps involved in a sweep and its cost. When it is time to call in the professionals, we will begin by completing a thorough inspection. This inspection will include checking the smoke chamber, liners, firebox, and exterior. With this inspection, structural damage is noted for repairs. After this inspection, we will thoroughly clean the inside and outside of your fireplace.
Unfortunately, sweep scams are a possibility in today’s world. We suggest checking reviews on websites such as Angie’s List. If the contractor reports excessive damage, you should ask for visual proof. The visible evidence will help protect you from scams and overpaying.
If you need any more information about chimney cleaning costs, United Hood Cleaning can help. We provide a variety of offerings, including grease trap cleaning and commercial and residential cleaning for smokestacks. If you want excellent service, contact us today at 888 -889-3828 for reliable, efficient, and affordable smokestack cleaning in the NYC and New Jersey areas.