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Particularly at the beginning of the season, when you're not yet using your fireplace regularly, the chimney may be attractive to pests of various kinds—squirrels and raccoons, for example, or bats and birds. Consider installing a chimney cap as a deterrent. In addition, remember to get your chimney cleaned, not only to remove creosote buildup, but also to clear out any accumulated nesting or waste material. Unchecked, pest debris can compromise your chimney's ability to vent the dangerous byproducts of combustion, including particulate matter and carbon monoxide.
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