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Chimney Cleaning Cost

Chimney Cleaning Cost

National average
$200
(Level 2 inspection and cleaning of a pellet stove chimney)
Low: $80

(Level 1 inspection and cleaning of a gas stove chimney)

High: $500

(Level 3 inspection and cleaning of a wood-burning fireplace chimney and multiple chimney flues)

Cost to have a chimney cleaned varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from chimney, duct and vent cleaning contractors in your city.

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Chimney Cleaning Cost

National average
$200
(Level 2 inspection and cleaning of a pellet stove chimney)
Low: $80

(Level 1 inspection and cleaning of a gas stove chimney)

High: $500

(Level 3 inspection and cleaning of a wood-burning fireplace chimney and multiple chimney flues)

Cost to have a chimney cleaned varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from chimney, duct and vent cleaning contractors in your city.

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Chimney Cleaned?

Chimneys provide a way for toxic exhaust gases from the fireplace to exit the home. However, as toxic fumes are traveling upwards in the chimney, they leave soot and tar. The soot and tar turn into creosote. This highly flammable material can catch fire and damage your home if the chimney is not cleaned regularly. According to the National Fire Protection Association Standard 211, chimneys, fireplaces, and vents should be inspected and cleaned annually at a minimum. The scope of the inspection and the methods used will depend on the condition of the chimney and the amount of cleaning work required.

The national average cost to clean a chimney is between $100 and $300, with most people paying around $200 for level 2 inspection and cleaning of a pellet or wood stove chimney. However at the low end of the spectrum, you can pay around $80 for a level 1 inspection and cleaning of a gas fireplace chimney. You can pay up to $500

Cost to Sweep a Chimney

Chimney Cleaning Cost
National average cost$200
Average range$100 - $300
Minimum cost$80
Maximum cost$500


Chimney Cleaning Cost by Type of Fireplace

Cleaning your chimney is recommended to maximize efficiency and detect potential issues like cracks and holes, which can later lead to house fires. Each heating appliance has a different chimney installed. Chimneys are all made from different elements and materials and require a specialized (often professional) cleaning approach, which comes at a different cost.


Chimney Cleaning Cost Chart

Chimney Cleaning Cost Chart


Chimney TypeTotal Cost (Labor)
Gas Fireplace$80-$130
Pellet Stove$130-$200
Wood Stove$150-$300
Wood Burning$160-$240


Gas Fireplace Chimney Cleaning Cost

Gas fireplaces are one of the most affordable heating appliances homeowners can use. These energy-efficient fireplaces are easy to install and cost less than other heating appliances. These factors make them one of the most affordable options for homeowners that want to stay on a budget. In addition to this, gas fireplaces are easier to light and produce no smell, so they are ideal for creating a nice home atmosphere.

A chimney is not always required for a gas fireplace; however, installing one can enhance the look of your interior and minimize the risk of carbon monoxide issues. Gas fireplace chimneys require less maintenance than wood or pellet stoves. Since there is no soot to clean up or logs to dispose of, most professionals recommend cleaning these chimneys annually or every other year. This is unlike wood stove chimneys that require regular annual maintenance. The cost to clean a gas fireplace ranges from $80 to $130.

Pellet Stove Chimney Cleaning Cost

Pellet stoves are an environmentally-friendly way of heating your home during winter and offer the convenience of automatic ignition. However, as burning the pellets leaves residue within the stove firebox, it needs to be cleaned weekly to ensure its longevity. However, not all professionals provide pellet stove cleaning services and chimney cleaning services at the same time. Instead, you must hire a chimney professional to do the cleaning jobs separately. Most chimney cleaning services charge from $130 to $200 to have your pellet stove chimney cleaned.

Wood Stove Chimney Cleaning Cost

Because burning wood creates creosote, wood stoves require regular, annual cleaning. Smoke from burning wood leaves creosote. This substance sticks to the chimney flue and can catch fire. Regularly cleaning the chimney prevents this from happening and helps clear out other residue and debris that obstructs the exit path of exhaust gases. You may find nests built by birds, squirrels, or other animals, and leaves, twigs, branches, or other parts of nearby trees in the chimney. The total cost to clean a chimney for a wood stove is $150 to $300.

Wood Burning Chimney Cleaning Cost

Wood burning appliances are one of the most sought after appliances, but also the ones that require the most maintenance. Burning wood leaves a residue that forms creosote. Regular maintenance ensures that the creosote doesn’t catch fire and cause any further damage. If they are used frequently, wood-burning appliances should be cleaned quarterly. Wood burning inserts can be purchased with a liner or a regular insert. This affects the cost of the cleaning, which can range between $160 and $240.

Average Cost of Chimney Sweep

The expert uses hop vacuums and specialized brushes to clean a chimney and remove the soot and dust. They start from the firebox and go upwards, start at the top of the chimney and go downwards, or combine both depending on the most convenient method to clean the chimney. Typically, the fireplace area is covered with tarps or drop cloths to protect your floor and catch any dust removed during the cleaning.

Most companies offer chimney inspection and cleaning as a package. In most cases, chimney cleaning companies charge a flat rate of $100 to $300 for chimney inspection and sweeping services or an hourly rate of $75 per hour. If you agree on an hourly rate, you can expect the chimney inspection and cleaning process to take around 30 minutes to an hour for Level 1 or Level 2 inspections. Level 3 inspections take more than a day, depending on the amount of work needed to sweep the chimney.

Chimney Inspection and Cleaning Cost

Chimney sweep and inspection cost depend on the level of inspection needed for your chimney. The National Fire Protection Association lists three different chimney inspection levels, depending on the invasiveness of the procedure. Each level of inspection has a different cost. All levels include chimney cleaning. Below is a table with the three levels of inspection.


Chimney Inspection and Cleaning Cost


Inspection LevelCost Range (Cleaning Included)
Level 1$85-$950
Level 2$150-$1,000
Level 3$500-$5,000


Chimney Sweep by Part

Every chimney is made of different parts. The number of parts varies depending on the chimney’s complexity. A few are common in all chimneys: the firebox, the chimney flue, the chimney liner, and a damper. Each of these parts is made of different materials and requires different cleaning tools and techniques to ensure they are preserved and protected during the cleaning process. Below is an explanation of how each part is cleaned.

Chimney Flue Cleaning

The air shaft is “the neck” of the chimney that extends from the firebox to the top of the chimney. The cap on the top prevents animals or water from getting inside the chimney. Chimneys can have no flue, one flue, or several flues, which are the most decorative and the most expensive ones to clean and maintain. Typically, the chimney sweep scrubs a cleaning brush up and down on each section of the chimney flue removing the soot.

Firebox Cleaning

As its name suggests, the firebox is where the wood burns. It’s usually inserted into a fireplace or a stove to burn the box’s material instead of the fireplace itself. The firebox is cleaned by using a bendable “noodle brush” for the smoke shelf and a long-handled brush capable of cleaning soot off the firebox’s sides. The chimney sweep company covers nearby surfaces to prevent soot from getting on any of it and proceeds to clean the inside of the firebox. They may also use some chemicals depending on the amount of work needed to clean the firebox.

Chimney Liner Cleaning

The chimney liners are designed to protect the masonry from the byproducts of burning wood that corrode the masonry. It’s made of materials that tolerate high heats (mostly stainless steel) to ensure that the heat and fire remain within the fireplace and the chimney. Chimney liners are cleaned using special polypropylene bristle brushes that remove the soot, creosote, and debris without damaging the inside.

Chimney Damper Cleaning

A chimney damper is a metal place that is moved to allow or prevent the smoke from the fireplace into the flue. As most dampers are installed a foot above the opening of the fireplace, the damper needs to be unhinged or unpinned from its position for cleaning. However, some dampers may not be removable, so the chimney sweep cleans it where it’s located. To clean the damper, a chimney cleaning expert may use a wire brush to remove the soot and clean the leftover soot with a cleaning mixture.

Fireplace Cleaning

Unlike a firebox, a box inserted within the fireplace, the fireplace is the whole structure inside which the wood is burned. The fireplace can be made of masonry true brick or mortar style or a factory-built, zero-clearance metal style. Like the firebox cleaning process, the chimney professional cleans the inside of the firebox using a hard-haired brush. If the inside bricks are darkened or damaged from the fire, the chimney sweep may spray chemicals to bring them closer to their original shine.

Chimney Maintenance Cost

Regular maintenance increases the chimney’s lifespan and minimizes the accumulation of creosote and other chimney debris. A few basic steps do the trick. Some of these steps include using properly seasoned firewood and cleaning the ashes regularly so they don’t accumulate. Seasoned firewood typically costs between $120 and $180 per cord. The cost ranges between $200 and $300 per cord during heating season.

In addition to this, you should avoid using painted, chemically processed, or pressure-treated wood. These woods release toxic fumes when burned. Finally, remember to always open the damper to its maximum capacity before starting the fire in your fireplace or stove.

Chimney Cleaning Cost Factors

How much you will pay to sweep your chimney depends on several factors. The main ones are the roof’s accessibility, how often you use your fireplace, and how much time has elapsed since the last cleaning. If you use the fireplace more than four times per week, you need to clean the chimney more often to avoid buildup. If your roof is steeper, the chimney sweeps have a more difficult time climbing on it. The extra labor involved increases the cost. Finally, if your chimney has been unattended for a long time, it may require several sessions and incur an extra charge.

While the cost of cleaning the chimneys on fireplaces and wood stoves are comparable, you may pay more to clean a wood stove if the flue is in an odd shape and difficult to access.


Professional sweep cleaning the chimney from the outside on top of the roof


Chimney Cleaning Prep Work

To allow the chimney sweeps to do their job efficiently, make sure you can access the area that needs cleaning easily. If you have any furniture, decor, or carpets that may get in the way or get dirty during the cleaning process, remove them before the professionals arrive at your home. The chimney sweeps may ask you not to use the fireplace at least 24 hours before cleaning.

When they arrive, the chimney sweeps place protective coverings to prevent surfaces from getting dirty from soot or other debris that falls from the chimney. The chimney sweeps lay down runners throughout your home to prevent the soot from spreading into other parts of the house.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Stove Cleaning

Wood stoves also have chimneys that require periodic cleaning. Wood stoves that have been operated under ideal conditions will have gray-colored ash as the main residue. However, if you notice shiny residue accumulating inside the door, it may be time to clean. On average, wood stove cleaning costsaround $95. Woodstove inserts that do not have liners running to the top of the chimney have to be pulled out for access, adding $50 to the cost. Insert pipes that have to be removed for cleaning increase the cost by around $20.

Chimney Repair Cost

The chimney inspection may show that your chimney is in bad shape and needs repairs. Replacing a chimney liner is expensive and costs between $1,000 and $7,000, with most homeowners paying around $2,000 to install a chimney liner. A chimney cap replacement is needed if your cap has been damaged due to poor weather conditions or wildlife. The average cost to have a replacement cap installed by a professional is $350. When the chimney crown is damaged, the excess water can cause bricks to separate and damage clay tiles. The total cost of chimney crown repair is around $900. Flashing repairs typically cost $175 for smaller repairs and can go up to $1,000 if a brick replacement is required. A new damper costs between $150 and $500.

Animal Removal Cost

Sometimes, small animals, rodents, or birds get trapped in your chimney. Other times, they make a nest below the chimney cap. Some die and get trapped in the chimney flue. Without proper removal, these animals obstruct the normal flow of the fire’s exhaust gases. Removal of animals, birds, or rodents from a chimney costs around $100 for small and easily removed animals but can go up to $700 if the removal job is more complicated.

Creosote Cleaning Logs

Using creosote minimizes the risk of fires and damage to the fireplace and chimney. Creosote sweeping logs contain minerals that dry out tar and creosote, reducing the risk of fires substantially. However, remember that creosote logs aren’t a replacement for professional cleaning. Make sure to schedule your regular chimney sweep, regardless of the regular maintenance you’re doing. Buying creosote logs costs you about $12 each.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Stove inserts without liners extending to the top of the chimney have to be pulled out for easy access.
  • Any insert pipes that require removal for cleaning increase the cost by around $20.
  • Some chimney sweeps may offer a camera inspection during cleaning for an additional cost of $50 to $75.
  • Some homeowners choose to clean their chimneys themselves to save money. However, if the smoke chamber in your fireplace is too difficult to reach or if you do not have experience working on a roof, it would be better to hire a certified chimney sweep.
  • If you are cleaning your own fireplace, sprinkle the ashes and creosote on flower beds or add to the base of your houseplants. They are a good source of calcium and other nutrients for plants.
  • Trees that overhang the chimney should be trimmed to avoid damage to the chimney from falling branches. Tree trimming costs range between $75 and $500.
  • Before you hire a chimney sweep, ask for their certification. Professional chimney sweeps have passed a certification test for chimney standards and codes. They understand how chimney construction and have insurance and workman's compensation in case an accident happens.
  • To prevent creosote from accumulating, burn only dry wood. Make sure you have a chimney cap installed to prevent rain, snow, sleet, leaves, and animals from getting into the chimney. Maintaining capped chimneys that are clean and free from cracks and leaks is essential to preventing water and litter from getting inside the chimneys and causing problems. This decreases the possibility of developing serious, more expensive problems in the future.
  • Though gas fireplaces do not create the same buildup of soot and creosote as wood-burning fireplaces, professionals still recommend annual inspections.
  • Watch for scammers who offer ridiculously low prices for cleaning chimneys. They may lie about structural damage to the chimney, show you pieces of litter they claim was found in the chimney, or attempt to convince you to install new chimney caps or liners. To protect yourself, always ask for references and verify them. Do not be taken in by the low prices. Get at least two or three quotes before making your decision. Also, make sure the company is licensed and employs certified individuals.
  • Companies and professionals recommend doing chimney inspection and cleaning in the spring after the heating season ends. This is when the residue is dry and easily removed. However, most homeowners inspect and clean their chimneys in fall, just before the heating season starts to prepare the chimney and fireplace for proper functioning.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to clean a chimney?

Typically, homeowners spend between $100 and $300 to clean their chimneys. The cost depends on the type of stove or fireplace you have and the required inspection and cleaning level.

  • How long does a chimney sweep take?

Most chimney sweeps take between 30 minutes to an hour, although level 3 inspections and cleaning can take more than a day to complete.

  • How to tell if a chimney needs cleaning?

If you notice the damper is getting dark, the fire is burning poorly, or you smell burning wood, you are seeing indications that you need to clean your chimney.

  • How often should I clean my chimney?

Chimneys need to be cleaned at least once a year, preferably in spring, after the heating season ends. If you live in an area where the heating season lasts longer, it’s recommended that you clean your chimneys twice a year.

  • Can I sweep my own chimney?

Some DIY chimney sweeping tools can be purchased so you can do the chimney sweeping yourself. It’s always recommended that you hire a professional to do the job properly.

  • How do I clean the outside of my chimney?

If you notice dark stains on the outside of your chimney, you can remove it by pressure washing or using strong detergents. You can ask your chimney cleaning professional to clean it if they offer that service.

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Cost to have a chimney cleaned varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Chimney sweep pro cleaning the firebox of a brick fireplace

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Akron, OH
-6%
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Anchorage, AK
+35%
Ashland, NH
+22%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Avonmore, PA
-15%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Beaverton, OR
+15%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Boston, MA
+40%
Cecil, PA
0%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chester, VA
-29%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Coldwater, MI
-21%
Columbia, MD
+26%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Danbury, CT
+43%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Euclid, OH
-1%
Fairfield, OH
-3%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Hagerstown, MD
-14%
Hartford, CT
+23%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Laurel, MT
-12%
Leominster, MA
+11%
Littleton, CO
+2%
Mason, OH
-18%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Montclair, CA
+19%
Naperville, IL
+47%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New London, WI
-35%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Piscataway, NJ
+36%
Portland, OR
+11%
Labor cost in your zip code
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