Should we get chimney inspected/cleaned?

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New Member
Mar 6, 2023
We had a Princess 29 Insert installed at the start of March and used it more or less daily for the next 4 to 5 weeks. We tried to follow best practices but did bump around the learning curve a little, so I'm sure not all our fires were ideal in their rhythms and temperature patterns. And, of main concern, the wood we burned was what we could find for sale in the middle of winter: an ICB tote full of split and claimed-to-be seasoned wood. 2 months later and I just split a couple of the pieces remaining in our stack and tested its moisture content, got readings around 24% on the freshly-split faces of one piece, and got around 19% on the freshly-split faces of another piece.

Based on all that info, do you think we should have our chimney cleaned and inspected? Our stove installer offers that at $200 which seems pricey to me, especially since we didn't use the stove much yet. It seems prudent to get an inspection though - I'm sure the chimney is clean enough for now, but is it building up creosote at a rate such that we should not just burn this same kind of wood all through next season before getting it cleaned?

I've looked at our chimney and there's very little if any creosote buildup so far. Here's what that looked like:




Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
As long as the firewood is well-seasoned, I'd hold off. It looks pretty good.


Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
Long Island NY
I agree, I see no reason to do that now.

$200 is not pricey here for an inspection. Sweeping only can be done for less


Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
Lackawaxen PA
You got to the top, took the cap off. The cleaning job was almost done. Doing your own cleaning is the way to go. You will sleep better. So go to a good hardware store or on line and get yourself fiberglass rods and a poly brush. There are You Tube videos you can check out.
The chimney doesn't look bad. But a month or two of the first burning in a new installation is the ideal time to see how you are burning. You maybe surprised how much comes out.
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Minister of Fire
Feb 15, 2015
Looks pretty good to me. Usually the top is the worst cause that’s where it’s the coolest. If it were me, I would hold off
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Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
NE Ohio
I just split a couple of the pieces remaining in our stack and tested its moisture content, got readings around 24% on the freshly-split faces of one piece, and got around 19% on the freshly-split faces of another piece.
You got to the top, took the cap off. The cleaning job was almost done
Wood was like was mentioned, just take the cap off again, and run a brush down it...or clean from the bottom if you can.
That way you know for sure where you stand with the chimney for next year.
Hopefully you already have next years wood cut split stacked.


Minister of Fire
Oct 24, 2012
I would just to get an idea of how the stove burned. But I would just order a sooteater and do it from the bottom up right through the stove. Takes like 5 minutes.