Chimney Care Company's Blog

What’s that sound coming from my chimney? Probably chimney swifts.

Are you suddenly hearing a lot of loud noises coming from your chimney? Does the sound of rustling movement and constant chirping have you worried about what’s lurking within? Your chimney likely is playing host to chimney swifts!

What are chimney swifts?

Chimney swifts are birds that are native to North America’s woodlands. Once, they nested on the vertical interiors of dead, hollow trees. As American cities took hold and their natural habitats were largely demolished, chimney swifts adapted by finding shelter inside chimney flues.

How do I know if it’s really chimney swifts?

Of course, chimney swifts aren’t the only animal or bird that can make a home in your chimney. They are, however, extremely common during summer months. To determine if the noise in your chimney is, in fact, caused by swifts, first listen hard. Swifts moving around are often described as causing a rattlesnake-like sound. They are very vocal birds. Meaning you will hear a lot of chirping, especially when adult birds are feeding baby birds inside the chimney. Finally, watch your chimney in the late evening, close to nightfall. That’s when you’re most likely to see a chimney swift. It has a cigar-shaped body and curved wings, and it loves diving into your chimney to take refuge for the evening!

What do I do if it is a chimney swift?

If you are hosting a family of chimney swifts in your chimney, there is nothing you can do. Due to their diminishing numbers, chimney swifts are federally protected birds. Therefore, it is illegal to remove nesting chimney swifts. Fortunately, chimney swifts are migratory birds that will vacate your chimney and move along, once the hatch-lings are old enough. Are you hearing the young chimney swifts chirping in the chimney? If so, you’ll likely only have to wait a few weeks until the swifts move on. In the meantime, you can focus on the positive: Chimney swifts eat up to one-third of their body weight in insects a day. This means your resident chimney swifts will help lower the insect count in your yard this summer!

What do I do once the swifts have moved on?

Once you are sure that the chimney swifts have vacated your chimney, you will need to have your chimney swept and inspected. Their departure likely will coincide with your fall chimney maintenance. Chimney swifts generally don’t damage chimneys in any way. However, you will want to make sure that all remnants of their nests, and any droppings they have left behind, have been safely removed from your chimney. The inspection that follows the sweeping will ensure that your flue hasn’t sustained damage from chimney sweeps!

If your chimney has been occupied by chimney swifts this summer, call the Chimney Care Co. once the swifts have vacated your flue! Our sweeps will be sure to clear away any signs that the swifts were there, and they’ll make sure that your chimney remains in safe, working condition.


Reduce Fireplace Hazards This Winter

Your fireplace helps you to keep your home warm and cozy all winter long. But the knowledge that fireplaces also can be a fire hazard can leave you feeling anything but cozy. You can implement fireplace safety tips to reduce fireplace hazards and enjoy your fireplace without fear this winter.

Have your fireplace swept and inspected.

The No. 1 thing you can do to lower the fire hazard in your home is to have your chimney swept and inspected at least once per year, preferably between fire-burning seasons. A chimney sweeping and inspection ensures that your chimney is free of flammable creosote and other obstructions that could pose a danger. It also ensures that the fireplace and chimney are free from damage and in good operating condition.

Clear the space around the fireplace.

Embers can jump out of the fireplace and ignite nearby objects or burn anyone sitting too close. Items that are too close to a fireplace can overheat and begin to burn. To reduce this fire hazard, make sure that the area around your fireplace is free of any flammable materials, and encourage pets and children to stay away from the hearth when a fire is burning. All flammable objects be kept at least two feet from the hearth to avoid a fire hazard. Make sure you also check your mantle to be sure that there aren’t any objects dangling too close to the flames.

Screen your fireplace.

Another way to keep popping embers from your fireplace from posing a fire hazard is to use a fireplace screen. Keep mesh curtains on your fireplace and close them when a fire is burning. If your fireplace doesn’t have a built-in screen, invest in a removable screen or spark arrestor to keep sparks, ashes and logs safely in the fireplace.

Don’t burn anything other than the intended fuel.

Wood-burning fireplaces were designed to safely burn seasoned firewood. Gas fireplaces are made to safely handle gas fires. Pellet stoves safely accommodate pellets. Never burn anything other than the intended fuel in your fireplace. Wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and scraps of woods can cause flare ups that can’t be safely contained by your firebox and chimney.

Practice proper ash disposal.

After your fire has visibly extinguished, the ashes can still pose a danger. Embers hidden within the ashes can burn for days after your fire was put out. When clearing out your fireplace, be sure to use a metal shovel to scoop ashes into a metal bucket with a tight-fitting lid. Only remove the ashes to a garbage bag or other receptacle once you are sure that they have cooled entirely.

Consult the experts.

If you have concerns about fire hazards and your fireplace, make sure you consult the experts. At The Chimney Care Co., we view it as part of our responsibility to educate our customers on the safe operation of their fireplaces. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about your fireplace.

Gas Fireplace Tune-Ups and Cleaning

Gas fireplaces are a modern convenience. They give you the heat and ambiance of a traditional fireplace, without the hassle of building and maintaining a fireplace. They’re also cleaner, without the ash, soot and smoke of a wood-burning fireplace.

Gas Fireplace Tune-Ups and Cleaning - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CoBecause of their ease of use and clean, efficient burn, homeowners often forget that a gas fireplace requires annual cleaning and maintenance, just like their wood-burning counterparts.

Why your gas fireplace needs an annual tune-up and inspection.

Gas fireplaces are incredibly easy to use and nearly maintenance free. However, the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that the gas fireplaces and their chimneys undergo annual cleaning and inspection. This is just like any other type of heating stove or fireplace. With gas fireplaces, chimneys can still face damage or deterioration that compromises their structure and safe use. In addition, chimneys can become blocked by animals, leaves or debris. An annual chimney cleaning and inspection ensures that the chimney is structurally sound. Making it free from damage, and clear of any animals or obstructions.

The inside of the gas fireplace also requires an annual cleaning and inspection for safe operation. The burners and vents can become clogged with debris, either from dust or deteriorating bits of your ceramic logs. Over time, glass can crack or chip, compromising its function, and other parts of the fireplace. This includes seals, valves, fans, and blowers. Even the pilot light can malfunction or fail. Your annual gas fireplace cleaning clears away any debris that could inhibit the fireplace’s safe function. Also, the inspection checks for any problems that could compromise the safe or efficient function of your gas fireplace.

What the annual cleaning and inspection of a gas fireplace entails:

During your annual gas fireplace tune-up and inspection, your Chimney Care Co. fireplace technician will clean and inspect your chimney flue. They will also check your gas fireplace for proper clearances and venting. This is to make sure that valves, seals, gaskets, fans, blowers and the pilot are functioning properly. The technician also will look for damaged or worn-out fireplace components. These include cracks, gaps or scrapes within the firebox, signs of condensation around the chimney, and signs of leaking gases into the home.

What you can do to maintain your fireplace.

In between your annual gas fireplace cleaning and inspection, there are some things you can do to keep your gas fireplace operating optimally. Each month, especially during the months when the fireplace is in use, clean both sides of the fireplace glass. Inspect the glass for signs of cracks or chips. Inspect the inside of the fireplace for signs of deteriorating logs. Clear away any dust or spider webs from the inside of the fireplace. Always call for service if you notice any problems with the fireplace, such as difficulty igniting the pilot or malfunctioning blowers.

Call to schedule your gas fireplace tune-up and inspection today!

Before you fire up your gas fireplace for the season, call The Chimney Care Co. to schedule your gas fireplace tune-up and inspection! We’ll make sure that your gas fireplace is clean and safe for a winter’s worth of heating. We will also talk to you about regular maintenance to keep your gas fireplace burning cleanly, safely and efficiently all year long.

The Value of CSIA Certified Technicians

When you’re searching for someone to clean, inspect and service your chimney or fireplace, there is one thing you should be on the lookout for: Certification by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). This certification lets you know that you are hiring a trained chimney professional who will follow industry best practices when taking care of your chimney and fireplace.

The Value of CSIA Certified Technicians - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CompanyAbout the CSIA

The CSIA is an industry leader in education when it comes to fireplaces, heating stoves, venting and chimneys. It was founded in 1983 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to training chimney industry professionals to properly care for chimneys, vents and heating appliances. Also, to educate the public on safe fireplace and heating stove operation. The CSIA provides industry standard certifications for chimney professionals in the United States.

What CSIA certification means:

To obtain CSIA certification, chimney professionals have to undergo education courses. They also sit through an exam on caring for fireplaces, heating stoves, vented appliances and chimneys. You can be confident that your CSIA-certified chimney sweep has been trained in the science of fire burning and creosote formation.

This fire science includes:

  • The correct techniques for cleaning, inspecting and repairing chimneys.
  • Building and installation of chimneys and fireplaces.
  • The laws and industry standards regarding chimney, vent and fireplace construction and installation.
  • EPA requirements dealing with fireplaces and heating stoves.

How chimney sweeps become CSIA certified:

To achieve their CSIA certification, chimney sweeps must attend a CSIA review, or attend the CSIA’s National Chimney Sweep Training School. This is a six-day training course that gives sweeps hands-on chimney care experience. After completing a review or training school, sweeps must sit through a one-hour exam on successful chimney sweeping. In addition, they must learn the National Fire Protection Association’s chimney code. Also, take a 90-minute open-book exam on the International Residential Code. To maintain their CSIA certification, sweeps must sit through the exams every three years or must undergo continuing education courses.

The CSIA Code of Ethics:

On top of their education and exams, chimney sweeps must swear to the CSIA’s code of ethics to obtain their certification. The code of ethics maintains that the sweep will adhere to what they have learned through their CSIA training.


  • They will educate themselves on and follow local codes that apply to fireplaces, heating stoves and chimneys.
  • That they will abide by all manufacturers’ instructions as they install, maintain and repair home-heating appliances and chimneys.
  • That they will treat their customers professionally.
  • They will educate their customers on the safe operation and maintenance of their heating appliances and chimneys.

The Chimney Care Co. and the CSIA:

At The Chimney Care Co., we understand the role we play in keeping your fireplace, chimney, your home and your family safe. We know how important it is that our technicians are knowledgeable about what they do. That’s why we are proud to be CSIA-certified sweeps! If you are in need of a chimney professional, call The Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today! With our CSIA certification, you can be confident that you are getting educated professionals that will treat you, your chimney and your home with respect.

Top 10 Reasons Not to Clean Your Chimney

There are certain dangers in operating your fireplace without having it cleaned and inspected annually.


Keep this information in mind when thinking about your chimney.

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140