Long winters feel much warmer with a roaring fire in the fireplace. To ensure that you don’t end up with a living room full of smoke during that first fire of the season, you’ll want to have your chimney cleaned at least once a year. Hiring a chimney sweep costs between $110 and $290, or a national average of $230.
If you keep up with maintenance on your fireplace throughout the year, you could pay as little as $70 for a general cleaning. A more complex cleaning, such as removing excessive buildup from your smoke chamber or removing an animal, could cost up to $850.
In this article, we’ll discuss which types of fireplaces, stoves, and other factors can contribute to high chimney sweep costs.
- Average Chimney Sweep Costs
- Chimney Sweep Cost Estimator by Type of Fireplace or Stove
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Cost of a Chimney Sweep by Location
Average Chimney Sweep Costs in 2024
|National Average Cost
|Typical Price Range
|$110 – $290
|Extreme Low End Cost
|Extreme High End Cost
The average cost for a general chimney sweep is between $110 and $290, but special circumstances could make that cost increase quickly.
Having to remove a bird’s nest or animal from your chimney, the addition of a level two or three inspection, or an excessive buildup of creosote in your smoke chamber could cause the cost of your general chimney sweep to triple.
The good news is that there are simple ways you can keep up with regular maintenance of your fireplace and chimney to avoid getting yourself into these high-cost situations. These are discussed in greater detail throughout the article:
- Know your fireplace. Whether you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, or a wood or pellet stove, each one has its nooks and crannies that you’ll get to know over time. They will need to be kept clean, clear, and well-maintained in order to avoid excessive buildup.
- Keep up with inspections. The National Fire Protection Association recommends an annual chimney inspection.
- Install a chimney cap. If your chimney doesn’t already have one, a chimney cap will help keep large debris and animals out.
- Use the right firewood. There are certain wood types that help your fire create the least amount of buildup within the smoke chamber.
- Deal with overhanging trees. Whether the tree is in need of removal, or a tree trimming, overhanging trees can cause a number of issues for your chimney and cost you a lot of money in the long run.
- Schedule an annual chimney sweep. Your chimney should be cleaned professionally once or twice a year if you’re using the fireplace regularly.
Chimney Sweep Cost Estimator by Type of Fireplace or Stove
Gas fireplaces use natural gas or propane to imitate a traditional fireplace without having to burn any wood. With these, chimneys and flues aren’t necessary, which makes for an easier cleaning. A chimney sweep for a gas fireplace costs between $80 and $145.
A chimney sweep for a wood-burning fireplace gets pricier as the number of flues on the fireplace increases. A typical fireplace, with a single flue, will be less expensive to have cleaned. The average chimney sweep for a wood-burning fireplace costs between $155 and $195.
Pellet stoves are more complex systems, burning organic material like compressed wood or biomass pellets with the use of electricity. Because of the air pressure produced by the combustion blower, these stoves require exhaust pipes that are specially sealed in order to keep the gasses out of your home. A chimney sweep for a pellet stove costs between $155 and $260.
A wood stove, in comparison to a wood-burning fireplace, is a more efficient heat source. It gives you a more confined fire and doesn’t require a chimney. Stoves that aren’t set up inside of an existing fireplace, with a chimney, require a twin wall system to carry the fumes out of the home. A chimney sweep for a wood stove costs between $170 and $315.
Other Factors that Affect Cost
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the cost of a chimney sweep. Does the chimney need an inspection? Are animal removal services necessary? Is the chimney accessible? How long ago was it cleaned? These additional factors need to be considered when pricing for your chimney sweep.
With chimney inspections, there are three levels:
- Level 1 chimney inspections are a basic, visual inspection, which is usual practice during a professional chimney sweep. The average cost of a level one chimney inspection is between $95 and $950.
- Level 2 chimney inspections are a little more complex, consisting of a video scan of the interior surface of your chimney. These are typically performed after a major catastrophe (like a hurricane or tornado), before the sale of a home, or when making structural repairs. The average cost of a level two chimney inspection is between $185 and $1,000.
- Level 3 chimney inspections are used to assess major structural damage within a fireplace. Interior walls need to be opened, at times, or portions of the fireplace deconstructed to further assess. These level three inspections cost between $500 and $5,000.
Animals such as bats, birds, squirrels, and raccoons often get trapped inside of chimneys. You’ll notice that you have an intruder either by the critter noises coming from your chimney or a noticeable blockage obstructing the flow of exhaust fumes.
The cost for animal removal will depend on the species of animal and how many animals, but it’s usually between $155 and $575. Make sure that you work with a humane, professional wildlife trap and removal service to handle these animals.
The number of obstacles your hired chimney sweep will have to go through to get to your chimney can affect the cost of the job. Obstacles include things like steep roof structures, overhanging trees, and hardware such as solar panels or a satellite dish installed near the chimney.
The more often you clean your chimney, the less it will need a deep clean. By maintaining your fireplace in between professional cleanings, you reduce the amount of buildup that can occur, which makes the cleaning easier, faster, and cheaper.
Aside from special circumstances, your chimney should be swept at least once a year by a CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified professional.
It’s best to schedule your chimney sweep either in the spring, right after the heating season, or in the Fall, just before. In spring, residue is dry and easy to remove. However, a fall chimney sweep will prepare your fireplace or stove to function properly throughout winter.
Creosote Cleaning Logs
Creosote cleaning logs are often used to minimize the risk of fire and simplify the cleaning process. These logs chemically change the creosote in your fireplace flue, causing it to flake off. This doesn’t totally eliminate the buildup of creosote and soot, but it does make it much easier to clean. Creosote cleaning logs go for about $17 per box, on average.
There are additional services which can contribute to the overall costs of your chimney sweep. Often, you will find that a crucial component of your fireplace needs more than cleaning, and you’ll have to pay for a chimney repair.
Repairing or Replacing a Chimney Cap
Chimney caps, located at the very top of the chimney stack, keep your chimney free from excessive debris and block animals from getting in. This is an important tool to help maintain your fireplace in between chimney sweeps. The average cost to repair or replace a chimney cap is between $150 and $385.
Repairing or Replacing a Chimney Flue
The chimney’s flue is the tunnel that provides ventilation to your fireplace, while also protecting your fireplace from decay and creosote buildup. A cracked flue is extremely dangerous and will need to be repaired or replaced immediately. The average cost to repair a chimney flue is between $275 and $1,000.
Repairing or Replacing Chimney Flashing
Chimney flashing sits at the bottom of your chimney stack, where it meets the roofline. It is an important chimney component, protecting your fireplace from rain and water damage. The average cost for repairing chimney flashing is between $225 and $540.
Tree Trimming or Removal
You will find that your fireplace will collect a significant amount of debris if you have trees hanging over the chimney stack. Leaves, small twigs, and even large branches will fall and collect around the chimney, where they can become lodged inside or damage the chimney cap, crown, or flashing.
To prevent this, you can trim back the overhanging branches or remove the tree altogether. The cost of having your trees trimmed is between $315 and $700, on average. To fully remove overhanging trees, you’ll spend between $385 and $1,070.
Cost of a Chimney Sweep by Location
Certain areas of the United States, particularly cities with a higher cost of living, can have an increased average chimney sweep cost. Additionally, areas with a larger number of fireplaces in homes can have higher costs due to higher demand for chimney sweep services.
You should have your chimney swept and inspected at least once a year, per the CSIA (Chimey Safety Institute of America). For homeowners who use their fireplaces excessively, you may require two or more cleanings per year.
It is recommended to hire a CSIA professional to sweep a chimney. There are too many dangers associated with fireplaces and too many risks involved with a DIY sweep.
While a DIY chimney sweep is not recommended, there are a few regular maintenance tasks you can complete throughout the year as a homeowner to help maintain your fireplace and chimney. These include:
• Ensure that you have the appropriate amendments on your chimney, such as a chimney cap, to help keep debris out.
• Clean out the ashes in your fireplace, leaving about an inch at the bottom to help fires burn hotter, thus creating less creosote buildup.
• Use the right firewood, such as seasoned wood with low moisture. Softwoods burn hot and quickly and leave little to no embers behind. Hardwoods create embers, which provide an extended period of heat but emit a considerable amount of smoke.
• Avoid smoldering fires.
Creosote cleaning logs contain minerals that dry out the creosote, which helps to prevent excessive buildup within your smoke chamber. They are usually effective at minimizing buildup, but they don’t take the place of an annual sweep.
Where to Find a Chimney Sweeping Company
In order to keep that home fire burning all winter long, you’ll need your chimney to remain clean and clear of buildup and debris. A well-maintained chimney and fireplace will help keep chimney sweep costs down, so keep up with regular maintenance on your end and reach out to a professional when it’s time to schedule your annual chimney sweep.