How much does a chimney sweep cost?
$150 – $375 average chimney average cost
Chimney sweep cost
A chimney sweep costs $150 to $375 on average. Chimney cleaning costs $80 to $150 for a gas fireplace. Costs of chimney cleaning depend on the number of flues and time needed to clean it. Chimney cleaning prices are $100 to $250 minimum when inspecting a well-maintained wood-burning fireplace.
|National average cost
|$150 to $375
Chimney cleaning cost by type
The following table shows chimney cleaning costs by type:
|Wood burning fireplace
|$150 – $375
|$80 – $150
|$90 – $175
|Wood & pellet stove
|$130 – $300
*Includes a level 1 inspection.
Masonry chimney with a wood-burning fireplace (#mason)
A masonry chimney with a wood-burning fireplace costs $150 to $375 for an average cleaning. This price applies for a brick or stone chimney with one main flue in a one-story home with easy roof access. The work includes cleaning out the firebox, smoke shelf, and vacuuming up all debris.
Prices increase if there is a heavy load of ash in the firebox.
While a masonry chimney can burn wood or gas, wood-burning fireplaces are the most common.
Ask the chimney sweep if you need a new liner that's easier to clean to help reduce high maintenance fees in the future.
Chimney with a gas fireplace
A gas fireplace with a chimney costs $80 to $150 to clean on average. This price is lower than wood-burning chimneys because gas tends to burn cleaner with less residue. Both masonry and prefabricated chimneys can have a gas fireplace, so prices vary according to the total size.
A gas fireplace doesn't need to have a chimney attached to it if an attached vent safely directs all the fumes outside through the wall. In this case, a gas fireplace with a small side vent is easier to clean than a chimney.
Natural vent and ventless gas fireplaces are the easiest to clean because they don't attach to a chimney or vent. According to most building codes, these natural gas fireplaces must be installed outdoors.
A prefabricated or decorative chimney costs $90 to $175 for a professional cleaning. These chimneys have a metal flue inside and a metal vent that sticks up through the roof. A prefab chimney has no brick or stones, which makes it cheaper than cleaning masonry chimneys.
Wood stoves and pellet stoves
Cleaning a wood or pellet stove and its vent will cost $130 to $300 on average. These prices apply for the common setup of the stove connected to a stainless-steel liner that runs through the chimney. The technician will inspect all the stove parts for damage beyond general wear.
Chimney cleaning prices by flues
Prices for chimney cleaning are cheaper per flue with chimneys that have multiple shafts. You should always get all the flues checked, even if some aren't in use.
|Number of flues
|$100 – $250
|$250 – $400
|$400 – $700
Cost factors to clean a chimney
Costs to clean a chimney will vary according to these factors:
Chimney type – The total cleaning cost depends on the type of chimney, its total size, and how many appliances connect to the flue.
Chimney size & structure – Taller chimneys with multiple flues cost more to clean.
Level of buildup – A chimney with heavy creosote or soot buildup from frequent fireplace usage takes longer to clean, thus increasing the cost.
Time between cleanings – The more time has elapsed since the last cleaning, the longer and more involved the cleaning job will be.
Ongoing maintenance plans – Some chimney sweeps offer lower, off-season rates for annual cleaning if you sign up for a regular service plan.
Chimney condition – If a chimney sweep finds damage while cleaning, then the job will take longer because they need to investigate and report the problems.
Service area – Transportation fees apply if your home is outside of the company's standard service area.
Accessibility – Working on a hard-to-access chimney or extra-steep roofs takes longer, which raises labor costs.
Geographic location – Inspection costs are typically higher in cities with a high demand for chimney sweeps compared to more rural or less expensive areas.
Emergency service – Inspections needed urgently or outside of standard service times will have extra fees.
A standard chimney inspection costs $100 to $250 for a level 1 visual check and basic cleaning services. Fees increase for more detailed level 2 and 3 inspections when a chimney sweep finds signs of greater damage.
|$100 – $250
|$250 – $600
|$900 – $5,000
*For wood-burning fireplaces.
Additional chimney services (#services)
Additional chimney services may include:
Chimney repair costs $200 to $1,200.
Chimney crown repair costs $150 to $1,500.
Chimney cap replacement costs $200 to $850.
Chimney liner installation costs $1,500 to $4,000.
The cost to seal a chimney is $150 to $400.
The cost to repoint a chimney is $500 to $2,500.
A chimney rebuild costs $1,000 to 3,500.
A fireplace repair cost $100 to $2,000.
The cost to remove an animal from a chimney is $600 to $1,500.
The cost to remove a fireplace and chimney is $3,000 to $6,000.
Roof repair costs $150 to $400 minimum to fix shingles surrounding the chimney.
Signs you need your chimney swept
If you notice any of the following signs, you may need to get your chimney swept:
The fire burns weakly or is difficult to start.
Excessive smoke enters the room when lighting a fire.
You can see soot accumulating in and around the fireplace.
Unpleasant odors come from the fireplace when you're not using it.
White or black deposits form inside the chimney or on flue walls.
More than a year has passed since the last chimney cleaning.
The fireplace doesn't produce as much heat, or the wood burns too quickly.
You see signs of birds, animals, or nests in the chimney.
Moisture or damp patches form inside the chimney or on the masonry.
Masonry or creosote debris are falling into the firebox.
Ceilings and walls near the fireplace become discolored.
You feel downdrafts that signal a failing chimney damper.
Chimney sweep FAQs
What is a chimney sweep?
A chimney sweep is a licensed technician with a fire safety background who removes all debris and flammable buildup inside the flue and its connections. This professional also inspects the chimney while cleaning to ensure it's safe to use.
How often do you sweep a chimney?
Sweep your chimney 1 to 2 times annually. Once a year is the minimum requirement, even if you haven't used the chimney. The National Fire Protection Agency and all chimney safety organizations recommend annual checks for your safety.
How long does a chimney sweep take?
A chimney sweep takes 1 to 2 hours on average, or less time for a cleaning and visual check on a well-maintained chimney. If the chimney hasn't been cleaned in more than a year or there is major damage to investigate, then it may take twice as long.
What happens if I don’t sweep my chimney?
If you don't sweep your chimney, then you face these potential hazards:
Creosote or other buildup in the flue can ignite and start a house fire.
The liner can become damaged and leak carbon monoxide into your house.
Pests like bats and squirrels can infest your chimney, enter your home, and spread diseases.
Do you tip chimney sweeps?
You don't need to tip chimney sweeps because it's not standard practice for contractors. However, they're usually grateful for a tip, drink, or snack during a difficult job. You can also leave a good review for them.
Can you sweep your own chimney?
You can sweep your own chimney if you have the right equipment. However, the building codes in some states typically require an annual chimney inspection that only a certified technician can do properly. A chimney sweep does the inspection and cleaning within the same visit.
Is a landlord responsible to hire a chimney sweep?
In most cases, a landlord is responsible for hiring a chimney sweep annually since the cleaning will typically include a mandatory safety inspection as well. However, the landlord should show the tenant how to use the chimney, and the renters should then follow proper usage instructions.
The tenant can be responsible for hiring a chimney sweep if the lease specifies it. Check your lease to see the details of your terms and conditions.
When is the best time to hire a chimney sweep?
The best times to hire a chimney sweep to get the cheapest rates are during late spring and summer when there's less demand for their services. Most people get a chimney cleaning and inspection when cold weather comes in the fall, so you'll have longer wait times and higher prices then.
Getting estimates from chimney sweeps
Before hiring a chimney cleaner near you, be sure to:
Compare 3+ bids from licensed, bonded, and insured chimney technicians.
Ask if they have certifications like:
Credentials from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)
A state chimney technician license
The National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certification
A home improvement contractor's license
State gas handler's license for gas-powered fireplaces
Membership in the National Chimney Sweep Guild or other fire safety organizations
Request a list of references from past clients.
Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Avoid choosing the lowest bid since it may result in a low-quality inspection.
Questions to ask chimney sweeps
Select a qualified chimney sweep by asking these questions first:
How long have you been cleaning and inspecting chimneys?
What tools and equipment do you use?
Have you been taking continuing courses to maintain your CSIA credentials?
Is there an additional charge for 2- or 3-story homes?
Does this bid cover the inspection, cleaning, and all associated labor costs?
Will you clean and inspect the flue, fireplaces, stoves, and the exterior?
Approximately how long will the cleaning and inspection process take?
Did you see issues that require a level 2 or level 3 inspection?
Can I see video footage of damages in the chimney?
Apart from cleaning and inspections, does your company also handle repairs?
Can you provide a detailed report with any recommended repairs if necessary?
Do you offer regular chimney maintenance services?