How Often Should You Clean a Wood Burner Chimney?

Updated March 23, 2017

The National Fire Protection Association lists the lack of regular cleaning, which leads to creosote build-up in wood-burning devices and their chimneys, as a leading cause of home-heating fires. Because woodstoves have the highest risk of property damage from fires, the NFPA recommends having wood burners inspected annually and cleaned if needed.

Clean More Aggressively

The University of Missouri Extension office recommends you establish a cleaning schedule that eliminates creosote build-up inside the chimney--clean every two weeks to once a year depending on "the amount you use your stove, the type of wood you burn, the type of wood-burning unit you have and the way you operate the unit."

Bottom Line

Consult a certified professional chimney sweep for advice on how often your type of wood burner needs to be cleaned based on your personal usage. In general, chimneys for older stoves need to be cleaned more frequently.

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About the Author

Malinda Zellman has instructed computer, ESL and GED classes. She is a retired homeschooler and school librarian. She is contributing author for two books, "Games" and "Crafts," by Group Publishing. She has written for print magazines and websites. She holds two BA degrees, business administration and economics, from Rollins College.