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      Prepping your chimney for the heating season

      The leaves are beginning to change colors, and that means itâ??s almost time to fire up the stove.

      Before lighting up the stove this season, itâ??s vital to take the time to have your chimney cleaned.

      Contractor Dan Riutta said this time of year gets busy with many people calling for a chimney sweep. He said there are some things homeowners can do themselves before hiring a professional, like checking the chimney with a small mirror for cracks or blockage.

      â??A lot of times, itâ??ll start getting blocked at the top of the chimney,â?? said Riutta. â??If you look up with a mirror, you might just see a tiny little hole or no light at all, and thatâ??s when you know that thereâ??s something going on.â??

      When it comes to the fuel for the fire, keeping your wood dry, inside, and out of the weather is best.

      â??Burning at the proper temperatures is what will reduce the waste in the wood, and the waste product of the wood is actually in the form of creosote, and thatâ??s what can cause chimney fires,â?? Riutta explained.

      Itâ??s recommended that homeowners have their chimneys inspected every year. Riutta said itâ??s best to have it cleaned right after the heating season is over, but if you havenâ??t, thereâ??s no better time than now to have it swept.

      â??Keeping an eye on your stove pipes, checking the condition of your stove pipes, having that chimney cleaned,â?? Riutta said.