Hiring a chimney sweep
Put aside fairly tales and know the facts
Before the start of this heating season, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) urges homeowners to schedule a chimney inspection in order to identify hidden system defects to reduce the likelihood that the defects potentially become hazardous.
The CSIA is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to chimney and venting system safety. The institute is committed to the elimination of residential chimney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion and other chimney-related hazards resulting in the loss of lives and property.
CSIA recommends annual chimney inspections and maintenance by a qualified professional to ensure that your home heating system functions as efficiently as possible. Because proper care and attention to service can help protect people from fires and carbon monoxide poisonings, it is important to choose the professional wisely.
“Hiring the right professional to inspect and maintain the system is one of the most important steps that a homeowner can take to ensure safety and efficiency,” states Ashley Eldridge, CSIA director of education.
While the CSIA recommends that people consider a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, the organization offers homeowners these three straightforward tips to help find a qualified chimney professional:
1. Verify advertised credentials. Reputable national credentials must be renewed on a regular basis to remain valid. Check with the organization granting the credentials to be sure that the individual you hire holds the credential he or she advertises.
2. Ask for and check references. Conscientious companies will have references available from previous clients and are eager to share reports from local consumer advocacy organizations such as the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List.
3. Learn the language of chimneys to level the playing field. The interactive fireplace glossary at www.csia.org outlines the thirteen most important terms you need to know to communicate with any professional chimney sweep. The site also offers short presentations on chimney sweeping and inspection processes.