Chimney cleaning is an essential part of owning a fireplace and using a chimney, as failure to properly care for it can lead to fire hazards and other dangers. While do-it-yourself chimney cleaning is always an option, it can be risky for homeowners to take matters into their own hands.
Hiring a professional chimney cleaning service can save homeowners the hassle of doing it themselves, and it won’t break the bank. However, it’s crucial to find a local chimney sweep with the right experience and credentials. Many chimney cleaning companies also offer free inspections and have certifications that prove their credibility. Before searching for “chimney cleaning near me,” homeowners can consider our four top picks for the best chimney cleaning services.
- BEST OVERALL: Midtown Chimney Sweeps
- BEST EMERGENCY SERVICE: United Home Services
- BEST FOR REPAIRS: Flue Tech Inc.
- BEST AGGREGATOR: HomeAdvisor
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Chimney Cleaning Services
Hiring the right chimney cleaning service will guarantee a chimney is safe from fire hazards and creosote buildup. When deciding which chimney cleaning service is best for their chimney, homeowners will want to consider a list of features, from service area and scheduling convenience to certifications and additional services offered. Here are some key factors to help with vetting potential companies.
While there are many reliable chimney cleaning services on the market, not all will offer services nationwide. Before considering other features such as emergency availability and inspection, it’s a good idea for homeowners to first check whether the company they’re vetting offers services in their area. Searching for “chimney sweeps in my area” should bring up a list of local service providers that a customer can consider.
For instance, many chimney cleaning services cater to specific regions rather than all 50 states. Even if a company does cover their area, homeowners will want to factor in whether the services are within a convenient distance in case of an emergency. Once they know a company is available and close enough to cater to their chimney cleaning needs, homeowners can begin considering other features of the company.
A good chimney cleaning service will offer convenient, flexible scheduling options and have an associate available to help, especially in an urgent situation. If a company is booked for weeks or months in advance, a homeowner might consider looking elsewhere to get the job done.
However, there’s always the option for homeowners to book far in advance and regularly (at least once per year, as recommended by professionals). Therefore, if a company’s scheduling is easy to navigate and allows bookings to be made in advance, this might be a good option.
If a homeowner notices cracking or popping noises in their chimney, thick smoke coming from their flue, or other indications of a chimney fire, it’s imperative to seek emergency support. There might also be less serious (but still noteworthy) signs a chimney needs immediate cleaning and inspection, such as strong smells or black chimney walls.
In cases like these, it helps to hire a chimney sweep service that can make itself available in an emergency. Otherwise, a home could end up with permanent damage or worse. Homeowners will want to find a company available in such situations to prevent avoidable chimney problems.
Chimney inspections are just as important as chimney cleanings, as they ensure a chimney is in good condition and safe to use. Finding a company that offers chimney inspections on top of chimney cleanings is a bonus many homeowners may want to consider. Since many common symptoms of more serious issues, such as cracked mortar joints or melted crowns, go undetected by homeowners, having a professional take a look and provide their expertise is vital. Scheduling chimney inspections on a regular basis (like every spring, as recommended by professionals) will help homeowners feel safe and worry-free after a season of chimney use. Chimney inspection costs may run a bit higher than standard cleaning services, averaging about $450.
Hiring a chimney cleaning service that employs experienced and certified professionals is necessarily for homeowners to ensure their chimney’s proper care and upkeep. If a chimney is not cleaned correctly, it can cause dangerous problems, from house fires to carbon monoxide poisoning. When deciding which chimney cleaning service to go with, homeowners are encouraged to value professionalism and credentials over price. Even if a company might be more affordable, if its workers are not experienced in chimney cleaning, it’s likely not a worthwhile investment. Some of the best and most common certifications to look for include:
- Certified Chimney Professional (CCP): This certification is intended to fortify an experienced chimney professional’s knowledge and show that they have attained a professional level of understanding of the codes, standards, and practices of a Certified Chimney Professional.
- Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA): The goal of this certifying body is to reduce fire risk and promote chimney, venting, and clothes dryer safety through education, not just for industry professionals but for homeowners as well.
- National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG): This community of professionals leads the chimney and venting industry by promoting the highest level of safety, integrity, and skill when serving American homeowners.
- National Fireplace Institute (NFI): A professional certification division of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF), this organization’s objective is to increase public safety by establishing meaningful credentials for professionals who plan and install residential hearth appliances and venting systems.
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): This organization offers multiple types of certifications for professionals involved in fields with electrical, fire, and related hazards.
Many companies offer additional services, including dryer vent cleaning, HVAC, duct cleaning, and fireplace installation. If a homeowner is considering more than one home service, such as a chimney cleaning and a dryer vent cleaning, it may make sense to schedule both services from one company.
When vetting potential chimney cleaning companies, homeowners will want to assess their home’s maintenance needs and look for bundles or deals on those specific services. They can then weigh the additional services provided with the costs associated to determine the best fit for their unique needs. Having an all-in-one service can save money and time while ensuring a safe experience when using a fireplace and other utilities.
Customer support is an essential part of any business, but it’s significant for service-based companies. If a chimney cleaning service does not have good customer support, it can be challenging to schedule appointments or get through to a professional with any questions or concerns. Homeowners will want to look for a company that offers easy and efficient communication, either online, over the phone, or both. Also, it’s a good idea to keep in mind how long it takes for a customer service agent to get back with an estimate or date of service to get an idea of the quality of their customer support.
Our Top Picks
We researched dozens of chimney cleaning services on the market to find the best ones for homeowners. After vetting companies to learn about their certifications, additional services offered, and customer support, among other considerations, we narrowed our options to four businesses that provide quality services. Here are our top picks for the best chimney cleaning services.
Why It Made the Cut: Midtown Chimney Sweeps uses an innovative cleaning method to minimize mess while thoroughly cleaning a chimney, and the company also services freestanding gas fireplaces and wood stoves.
Midtown Chimney Sweeps is a great option for homeowners looking to invest in professionals who have the proper experience and hold the correct certifications (CCP and NFI) to get the job done. Services are available in California, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Canada.
This chimney cleaning service offers convenient online and phone-based scheduling for its “revolutionary” cleaning method. The company says it delivers a deeper clean without the mess using its HEPA centrifugal-gravity, dust-extractor vacuum. Technicians can also service both freestanding gas fireplaces and wood stoves in addition to traditional gas or wood-burning fireplaces.
While prices can be relatively high, the quality that homeowners receive in return is worth the investment. Midtown Chimney Sweeps also provides helpful resources and articles on its website to customers for free. These resources include fireplace maintenance tips and ways to keep the home warm during the winter months.
In addition to chimney cleaning, Midtown Chimney Sweeps offers additional services such as fireplace installation and dryer vent cleaning. This can be helpful for homeowners who want to deep-clean their entire home’s heating system at once when they book a routine chimney cleaning.
- Service area: 11 states and Canada
- Scheduling: Online, phone
- Emergency availability: No
- Certification: CCP, NFI
- Additional services: Fireplace installation, dryer vent cleaning
- “Revolutionary” cleaning method delivers deeper clean with less mess
- Helpful resources and articles available on the website for customers
- Technicians can service freestanding gas fireplaces and wood stoves
- Prices are relatively high compared to the national average
Why It Made the Cut: United Home Services is a certified chimney cleaning company that offers 24/7 emergency availability to homeowners in need.
Available in five states (Colorado, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington), United Home Services provides chimney sweeping as well as HVAC installation and repair, dryer vent cleaning, insulation, garage door repair and installation, and roofing services. Its most attractive benefit is the company’s 24/7 emergency availability. While each location is franchised, meaning the customer service quality and responsiveness may vary among branches, homeowners may enjoy additional peace of mind knowing that technicians are available at any time in case of an emergency.
United Home Services’ advertised prices are lower than the national average of $255, making it a good option for homeowners concerned about how much chimney cleaning services cost. The company is NCSG certified and provides chimney cleaning, chimney relining, bird and animal removal, smoke-problem correction, safety inspections, rain leak repair, brick and chimney crown repair, and flashing repair. To book an appointment, homeowners can visit the company’s website or get in touch by the phone.
- Service area: 5 states
- Scheduling: Online, phone
- Emergency availability: Yes
- Certification: NCSG
- Additional services: HVAC installation and repair, dryer vent cleaning, insulation, garage door repair and installation
- 24/7 emergency availability
- HVAC, insulation, and roofing services available
- Prices are relatively low
- Quality of service can vary by location
Why It Made the Cut: Flue Tech Inc.’s certified master chimney technicians can tackle any cleaning job or complex repair a chimney may need.
Flue Tech Inc. is a chimney cleaning, repair, and ventilation service that holds various certifications, including CSIA, NCSG, NFI, CCP, and NFPA. All technicians are certified master chimney technicians, which requires at least 8 years of experience and 6 years of certification. This extra level of certification, along with technicians’ other third-party certifications, ensures a higher level of quality and experience. For customers who require more extensive chimney cleaning or repairs, this extra level of expertise may be an important deciding factor.
Service hours for customer service and technician visits may be more limited than some homeowners would like. The company is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The company offers convenient online or phone scheduling and provides discounts to customers who sign up for an annual service plan. These discount opportunities could help homeowners reduce the cost of ongoing chimney maintenance in the long run.
Available in three states (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), the company also offers air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, and fireplace installation. However, among its most attractive qualities are its chimney inspection and repair services, which ensure a homeowner’s chimney is in a safe condition for use.
- Service area: 3 states
- Scheduling: Online, phone
- Emergency availability: No
- Certification: CSIA, NCSG, NFI, CCP, NFPA
- Additional services: Air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, fireplace installation
- Certified by CSIA, NCSG, NFI, CCP, and NFPA
- Technicians are certified master chimney technicians
- Discount offered to customers who sign up for an annual service plan
- Service hours are relatively limited
Why It Made the Cut: HomeAdvisor allows potential clients to browse local professionals based on the project and compare pricing and other features.
HomeAdvisor is an aggregator that lists services nationwide, bringing homeowners the best options in their area. Users can filter their searches based on the project and location to browse local professionals. While its website doesn’t include information about third-party certification, it is streamlined and easy to navigate. With a high-quality user experience, the HomeAdvisor site can help homeowners quickly find local professionals who are qualified to take on their chimney cleaning or repair jobs.
All scheduling is done online, and emergency availability, certifications, and additional services vary by provider. While homeowners must provide their name, phone number, and email address to browse local chimney sweeps and other professionals, through HomeAdvisor they can immediately find trusted professionals providing services in their area.
- Service area: Nationwide
- Scheduling: Online
- Emergency availability: Varies by provider
- Certification: Varies by provider
- Additional services: Varies by provider
- Potential clients can filter by project and choose from local professionals
- Website is streamlined and user-friendly
- Name, phone number, and email are required to browse local services
- Website does not typically include info about third-party certification
The Best Overall award goes to Midtown Chimney Sweeps due to the company’s thorough cleaning method, helpful online resources, and ability to service freestanding gas fireplaces and wood stoves in addition to traditional fireplaces and chimneys. United Home Services is our pick for Best Emergency Services, as this certified company offers 24/7 emergency availability within its service area as well as relatively low prices for chimney cleaning services.
How We Chose the Best Chimney Cleaning Services
When deciding which chimney cleaning services were the best picks on the market, we considered various features including customer service, certifications, inspection, emergency availability, scheduling, service areas, and additional services provided. For instance, some of the companies we picked also offered air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, fireplace installation, and other services. We also considered the overall price and any potential deals worth pursuing.
We reached our verdict only after conducting extensive research on dozens of chimney cleaning services. Our best picks are highly qualified, affordable, and reliable options that will care for customers’ chimney cleaning needs.
Before You Hire One of the Best Chimney Cleaning Services
Before hiring a chimney cleaning services, it’s essential for homeowners to understand that these services and companies aren’t suited for everyone, as every homeowner has different needs for their chimneys and fireplaces. Additionally, some of the top picks only offer services in specific states or regions, meaning they might not be available to homeowners across the country. This is an important consideration to keep in mind before blindly choosing a company.
Homeowners will also want to be mindful of their budget and what exactly they’re looking to get from a chimney cleaning service—is it just a routine cleaning, or will they require additional services inspections and emergency availability? After weighing the costs of professional services, some homeowners may decide to clean their chimney themselves. This can be a difficult DIY job, though—it’s messy, potentially dangerous, and requires specialized equipment such as chimney brushes. Those with a fear of heights, in particular, may want to consider hiring a professional, as chimney cleaning will require them to climb onto their roof.
A more practical DIY job that homeowners can take on is cleaning their fireplace. Although a messy job in its own right, this is a much easier task for any homeowner to tackle, and it doesn’t require any special tools—although they may want to use one of the best creosote removers to fully get rid of any creosote buildup.
Cost of Hiring One of the Best Chimney Cleaning Services
How much does a chimney sweep cost? Chimney cleaning costs can typically range from $130 to $380, with the national average being $255. The price may vary depending on the state of the chimney, including how long it’s been since it was last cleaned, how often it’s used, its accessibility (steep roofs make for a more inconvenient and dangerous cleaning), what other services are being offered (inspection, fireplace installation, etc.), and whether it needs certain repairs. When creating a budget and vetting potential services, homeowners will want to keep all this information in mind.
The Advantages of Using One of the Best Chimney Cleaning Services
When a homeowner hires one of the best chimney cleaning services, they’ll receive professional, reliable service and thorough cleaning for their home’s chimney or fireplace. The best companies are certified and insured and offer chimney repair if any issues are found. Some other benefits include:
- Thorough cleaning methods to ensure a deep clean that improves a fire’s burning quality, reduces the risk of danger from creosote buildup, and minimizes any mess;
- Experienced technicians who can inspect and clean multiple types of fireplaces and stoves; and
- Additional services for HVAC systems, roofs, insulation, and ventilation to improve the overall state and condition of the home.
Chimney maintenance may not always be top of mind for homeowners until something goes wrong that requires expensive repairs. That’s why it’s important to keep up with routine chimney cleaning and maintenance year after year. Knowing what to look for in a reliable chimney sweep company isn’t always clear, though, as many homeowners are unfamiliar with these services. The answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding professional chimney cleaning services can help homeowners decide which chimney cleaning and repair company is right for them.
Q. How much does it cost to hire someone to clean my chimney?
Professional chimney cleaning typically costs between $130 to $380, with the national average being $255. Costs will vary from one company to another, so homeowners may want to search “chimney service near me” to compare prices between local chimney cleaners.
Q. When should I use a chimney cleaning service?
It’s recommended that homeowners use a chimney cleaning service at least once a year to ensure their fireplace is safe and clean. If homeowners notice a buildup of soot or a strong odor when burning fire, they will want to also contact a company for chimney and fireplace cleaning services.
Q. What do chimney cleaning services include?
Chimney cleaning services typically include a chimney sweep and basic inspection to check for any signs of damage.
Q. How often should I have my chimney professionally cleaned?
Professionals recommend homeowners have their chimney professionally cleaned at least once a year.
Q. What time of year should I clean my chimney?
It’s a good idea for homeowners to hire chimney sweepers to clean their chimney in the spring following colder months, which is when chimneys get the most use.
Q. How can I tell if my chimney needs cleaning?
Some common signs a chimney needs cleaning are a buildup of soot or a strong odor when a fire is burning. Homeowners will also want to look out for water buildup and other signs of a leaking chimney, which may require flashing or mortar work to fix. In those situations, they may want to hire a chimney repair professional near them to address the problem before it worsens.