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If you have a chimney, it needs to be swept

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As fall starts putting a bit of a chill in the air again, it's time to start thinking of things to do around the house to get ready. If you burn wood in a fireplace or a wood stove, whether it's your primary source of heat or just for an occasional pleasant evening fire, one thing you can be sure of is that your chimney's going to get dirty. It's simply an inescapable fact of life that chimneys and soot go hand in hand, and that combination can equal some serious, life-threatening danger if you don't take care of it. As wood burns, not all of it is consumed, and what isn't consumed goes up your fireplace chimney or wood stove flue pipe in the form of creosote and soot. Creosote is a thick, oily material that results from the distillation of wood smoke, which solidifies as it cools. Soot is basically particles of partially burnt material that builds up in chimneys, metal flue pipes, and flue caps. Over time, the soot and solidified creosote build up and clog the interior of...