It’s been one of those wild winters, one day it’s warm and the next day it’s freezing. As I write this, it’s 8° Celsius in Houston, Texas. By Sunday, it’s expected to drop to 8° Celsius.   As the weather starts to get colder, business is heating up for us chimney sweeps.

Homeowners with fireplaces will be throwing logs onto their fires which can only mean one thing, dirty chimneys. That black tar like substance that sticks to the walls of your chimney is not only hard to scrape off (especially if you don’t have the right tools) but it’s also hard to find. That’s why when we perform a Level 2 chimney inspection we perform a video inspection.

The most important thing to remember when selecting firewood to burn is that it must be dry. You can’t burn just any piece of wood. Some people like soft woods such as pine, spruce and poplar but they burn faster and do not produce a long-lasting coal bed when burned. Hardwoods like maple and oak have higher energy content per cord and release more heat on average.

So when should you get your chimney cleaned. A good rule of thumb is to have your chimney cleaned every three to five cords of wood that you burn. It depends on the size of your fireplace or wood stove. It’s important to get an annual chimney cleaning but if you use your fireplace and chimney a lot, you should probably get it cleaned more than once a year.

Whatever you burn over the holidays, PCS wishes you and yours a Happy New Year. Stay safe in 2015