Top 10 Most-Asked Questions
- How is a chimney cleaned and will it create a mess?
At Chimney Cricket USA, we promise no mess, Guaranteed! We clean your fireplace from bottom to top and from the top back down, ensuring 100% of the system is cleaned—including the flue, smoke chamber and firebox.
During the chimney cleaning process, we use top-of-the-line HEPA filtration units to ensure no particles are introduced into the air, including most smells. You’ll never see a Shop-Vac® or long hoses in your home! We only use the SootSweeper, a machine that’s been keeping soot out of homes for over 35 years. Flooring and personal items are also covered as a precaution, to guarantee resident’s items remain safe from dirt or stains. We take pride in making sure your items are kept clean and safe.
- Do you inspect my fireplace when you clean it?
Yes! Keeping you safe is the most important part of chimney sweeping. Each fireplace goes through a full 20-point inspection, to make sure everything is in good operating condition.
Our inspections exceed Level 1 Inspection, as defined by the National Safety Institute of America (NSIA). Not only do we check for things related directly with the fireplace—such as the damper, flue and firebox—but also items such as the roof flashing, crown condition and fire extinguishers. It’s our mission to make sure all parts of your system are in good, safe condition.
- How long does it take to clean a fireplace?
Cleaning a fireplace takes anywhere from 30 minutes to about an hour. It really depends on how long it’s been since your last cleaning and what level of buildup is present in your chimney. Homeowners that keep up on annual cleaning will find that cleanings go quickly in most cases. If it’s been a few years since your last fireplace cleaning, it might be closer to a full hour to properly sweep everything out.
- How often do I need to clean my fireplace?
Living in Arizona, this is probably the hardest question to answer. We recommend your fireplace be cleaned (or at least inspected) every two to three years. Another metric we like to provide homeowners with is cleaning every 50-100 fires. Either of these intervals will ensure your chimney remains safe.
It’s also a smart idea to schedule a cleaning or inspection anytime you’re unsure about the safety of your chimney or can’t remember the last time it was swept.
- What type of wood should I burn?
The truth is, most wood is good to burn once it’s well seasoned. That said, here are a few of our favorites:
- Pine (for starting fires)
You can find most of these wood variants at local firewood sellers, and they’re not particularly expensive to stock at your home.
- What types of repairs do you do?
Cricket Chimney USA performs all necessary repairs to restore the function of your fireplace and bring it back to a well-working, code-compliant system. These repairs include relining, damper installation, back wall rebuilding and other masonry repairs, crown sealing and installing new or reinstalling disconnected factory-built pipe. We’ll provide a full rundown of any work needed to keep your chimney safe and functional after an inspection.
- Do you clean dryer vents?
Yes—we’re capable of providing dryer vent cleaning. Cleaning dryer vents well can be difficult and requires the right tools. At Cricket Chimney USA, we have years of experience cleaning dryer vents and only use the best cleaning systems on the market. Our system in powered and scrubs the entire duct system, making the system look and perform like new when we’re done.
- My fireplace doesn’t draw well. What could be wrong with it?
There are hundreds of reasons why a fireplace might smoke. With years of experience behind us, there’s a good chance we can get to the bottom of your fireplace’s specific reason and fix it, bringing your system back into great working shape. If you notice poor draw, don’t wait to call us!
- Do you install top sealing gasket tight dampers?
Yes! Installing a top seal damper requires more work than one might think. First is knowing what size to install; then, there’s the fitting of the new flue lining, sealing the lining to the chase, then installing the new damper. It all tops off with a new spark arrester. It’s difficult work, but our team is well-equipped to get the job done right.
- What do you do in the summer?
Most people in Phoenix, AZ aren’t using their fireplace in the summertime! But that makes it a great time to have your swept! We do lots of chimney sweeping in the summer months, as well as a fair amount of air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning. These systems need to be safe, so we work hard to make sure they’re getting the proper attention all year round—summer included!