Beware of the lower priced offer to clean your chimney. Anything below $150.00 for one flue cleaning could be just a way for a high pressure chimney sweep company to invade your home and practically scare you into fixing a chimney that might really not need any work to begin with. I went to a job recently inspected the chimney with gas heat, not a thing wrong with. It needed a cap so we installed one. He then showed me the other sweeps service slip. They told the customer the flue was falling apart. Even showed them broken tile pieces. And then they took a bird out of the bottom of the flue supposedly.
In my experience a gas flue is was clean. The house was no more than 30yrs old and there was a clean out door at the bottom. Is it possible that they could have had a bird in the chimney? Yes, but if there was as much debris as the customer said they pulled out then the bird would have been dirty too. You do the research and you will find that most of these companies are from New York amd Rhode Island. Even worse is the liner they are pushing to install is not the proper Stainless Steel for the type of appliance there is a difference in the alloy and corrosion resistance.
Hire a CSIA Certified Sweep and even further hire one from the MA Chimney Sweep Guild www.mcsguild.org.
Spring is on it's way
The best time of the year to clean your chimney is in the spring Why? 1) The unpleasant smell of a used chimney and creosote build up 2) ready to go next fall when the season comes in 3) no wait. In the fall we have an average of 2 to 3 week waiting period
Repairs will be needed and the biggest foe of masonry is water and the freeze thaw patterns The weather warms up eventually and the snow will go away. Don't seem like that is going to happen at this time being early February. I'm optimistic that this will come to an end and we will come out of our caves soon.
We here at Greater Boston Chimney Sweeps really care about your home and your alternate heating plans and in some cases needs. The goal of a wood stove, Pellet Stove and a Gas fireplace or stove is to supplement the cost of heating your home with enjoyment that comes from a fire contained in one of these systems.
If the power went out in your home in the dead of winter you would have no heat unless you have a back up such as one of these systems. For my opinion a wood stove is the best solution. Next would be a gas fireplace or stove. Both systems can run without electricity with exception of fans to circulate the heat created. A pellet stove on the other hand cannot run without electricity of some kind. The exhaust fan must be running in order for air to feed the fire as well as move the product of combustion out the flue pipe. Some pellet stoves can have a backup battery that can last up to 8 hrs or a generator will work as well. If you have a generator back up system for the home please us a surge protector on the pellet stove because the circuit board can be very sensitive. Either way we can install all systems in the manufactures safest method to get the most from the supplemental systems.