Do All Chimneys Need Cleaning?

This is a good question, because there are several different types of supplemental heating appliances, and not all of them need the same level of cleaning and maintenance. Let’s look at fireplaces, stoves and fireplace inserts and learn about the cleaning requirements for their chimneys or vent systems.

Wood-burning fireplaces, stoves and inserts

Wood Fireplace in Amherst, NHThese wood-burning appliances will all need regular vent-system/chimney cleaning to reduce the buildup of creosote, which forms when wood burns. Creosote is highly flammable and can appear inside the flue as a solid, sticky or puffy substance.

Masonry fireplaces: These traditional fireplaces use a traditional masonry chimney (in most cases) and send smoke up into a flue that usually contains a chimney liner. Over time, the flue interior can become full of creosote, soot and other types of debris. Masonry fireplace chimneys need yearly cleaning and inspection to keep them safe.

Zero-clearance wood fireplaces: ZC fireplaces are factory made and installed in a wall within a home. While they burn much more cleanly and efficiently than their masonry counterparts, creosote is still an issue. Zero-clearance fireplaces come with their own vent pipe (a traditional chimney isn’t required), and this pipe needs to be inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney sweep.



Wood-burning heating stoves: Like ZC wood fireplaces, wood heating stoves have a vent pipe that is a breeding ground for creosote and soot. Technology used to build today’s stoves allow wood to burn far more efficiently than stoves even 15 years ago, but their vent systems still need annual cleaning by a professional.

Wood-burning fireplace inserts: Inserts are built to fit into the firebox of a masonry fireplace. Inserts have their own vent system that runs through the existing chimney but does not affect it. Annual creosote and obstruction removal is necessary with a wood-burning insert.

Gas ZC fireplaces, free-standing stoves and fireplace inserts

Gas is a much cleaner-burning fuel than wood, so the venting for these appliances doesn’t require regular creosote removal. But that doesn’t mean the venting can be ignored. Depending on where you live and what’s around your home, gas appliance vents can attract tree debris and flying debris from outside as well as certain small animals and their nests. Inspection and any necessary cleaning is important, because obstructions in the vent pipe can cause dangerous gases and toxins to back up into the home. Of particular concern is carbon monoxide, which is an invisible and odorless gas that is known to be potentially fatal to humans and pets.

Gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts also should be inspected once a year to ensure the proper and safe operation of the gas lines, valves, pilot light and ignition systems, fan assemblies and other components.

Chimney Inspection in Concord, NHThe value of professional chimney and appliance inspections

Chimney and appliance inspections performed by technicians certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America can save you big money on future repairs and prevent unsafe operating conditions. Inspections cover many elements of a gas or wood appliance including:

  • Chimney masonry
  • Chimney crown
  • Chimney liner
  • Gas appliance components within the firebox (as mentioned earlier)
  • Vent pipes for inserts, ZC fireplaces and stoves
  • Chimney cap
  • Roof flashing
  • Firebox
  • Smoke shelf and smoke chamber



Black Moose Chimney of Antrim, NH, is on call year-round to help keep your chimney and fireplace or stove running safety and at peak efficiency. Our certified technicians perform chimney sweeping, chimney inspections, chimney repair and chimney rebuilding. Arrange an appointment or get your questions answered at (603) 525-7905.

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)