Fall and winter are the busiest season of the year for fireplace use – and for chimney sweeps. While fireplaces are great for keeping our homes warm and creating a welcoming atmosphere, they need to be maintained to burn safely and efficiently. Before hiring someone to come clean your fireplace, however, it is important to ensure you are working with a CSIA certified professional chimney sweep.
What is a CSIA certification?
The mark of a CSIA certified chimney technician
The Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, is a nonprofit organization founded with the mission of improving public and professional fireplace education. Certifications must be earned through a rigorous training, testing, and certification process. Topics include:
– Local and national building codes
– Basic chimney construction and draft dynamics
– Installation techniques for fireplaces, inserts, and stoves
– Current EPA emissions standards
– Best practices for chimney professionals
CSIA certifications are not for life; sweeps must take continuing education courses as well as pass a re-certification test every three years. This ensures that all CSIA certified sweeps are up to date on the latest technological and safety advancements in the industry.
Why being certified matters
Brushes, tarps, and a truck may help someone look the part of a chimney sweep, but they often lack the education, experience, and expertise to correctly care for your chimney system. There are a number of things that set professional, certified chimney sweeps apart:
– Code of ethics. CSIA certified chimney sweeps sign and follow a strict code of ethics. This protects homeowners as sweeps are held to strict standards; the code of ethics prevents unsavory business practices, and sweeps found in violation can lose their certifications.
– National recognition. CSIA certifications are recognized – and held by – sweeps in all 50 states. The national recognition of the CSIA certification means these sweeps are often quoted in news stories or other publications as experts in the field.
– Reciprocal trade relationships. As a widely recognized professional group, the CSIA maintains reciprocal trade relationships with trade groups such as home inspectors, realtors, and homeowners associations.
Questions to ask your chimney sweep
Before hiring a chimney sweep to work on your home, there are several questions you should ask.
– How long has your company been in business in this area?
– Will the chimney sweep who works on my home be CSIA certified?
– Can you provide references from any current customers?
– Does your company or the individual chimney sweep carry liability insurance?
– Do you have any open complaints with the Better Business Bureau?
Trust a certified chimney sweep!
Since 1977, Jack Pixley Sweeps has been providing quality and trustworthy chimney services to our friends and neighbors in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond. We are proud that all of our chimney sweeps are CSIA certified; we have some of the most knowledgeable sweeps in the industry, allowing our customers to get high quality chimney services. If you are in the Minneapolis area, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps for an appointment with a CSIA certified chimney sweep today!
The chimney and fireplace industry is still widely unregulated, especially when compared to other professional groups. Because of this, almost anyone with a truck and brushes can call themselves a chimney sweep. One of the most effective ways to tell professional chimney sweeps is their membership in professional organizations and guilds. At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to have certified sweeps. We are also proud of our memberships in a variety of professional groups including the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG).
What is the NCSG?
The National Chimney Sweep Guild is a professional guild for chimney sweeps dedicated to improving fireplace safety, educating consumers, and encouraging professionalism among chimney sweeps. Founded in 1977, NCSG is dedicated to its mission of “inspiring innovation, professionalism and community among chimney sweeps and venting professionals through advocacy, industry leading conferences and journalism, covering people, tools, health, standards, and education for a successful business and the safety of the American people.”
What does the NCSG do?
The NCSG aims to increase professional standards for chimney sweeps throughout the country. Through education, members can take part in up-to-date training to keep informed on safety standards in the fireplace industry. The NCSG also holds an annual conference that allows chimney professionals to network, connect, and learn from respected industry professionals. They even go beyond the surface by providing its members with a Code of Ethics to guide their business.
The most important parts of NCSG membership is the Code of Ethics. It is designed to hold chimney sweeps to a higher standard of performance and professional behavior. Homeowners can put their full trust in members of the NCSG. Our members are trustworthy and trained professionals, who really care about fireplace and chimney with the utmost professionalism and care.
Choose a professional chimney sweep!
At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to be professional, full-time chimney sweeps. In addition to our membership in the National Chimney Sweep Guild, our sweeps are members of other professional organizations including the Builders Association of Minnesota, the Brick Industry Association, and our sweeps are all Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified.
Since 1977, we have been providing our friends in the greater Minneapolis area with comprehensive chimney and fireplace care. With more than 100,000 satisfied customers, we are ready to handle everything from annual sweepings to major fireplace rebuilds! Trust the professionals at Jack Pixley Sweeps to care for your heating appliance. Contact us today for more information on how we strive to be “The name you can trust!”
When caring for your fireplace and chimney, who you hire matters. Instead of trusting a door to door salesman with a truck or going with the first result in a Google search, trust a professional chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. A CSIA certified chimney sweep is a highly trained and knowledgeable professional who can care for your entire fireplace system from firebox to flue.
What is a CSIA certification?
The Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving both public and professional fireplace education. Widely considered as the most prestigious professional group in the fireplace industry, a CSIA certification is prestigious – and difficult to earn – title held by only 1200 chimney sweeps in the United States.
For a chimney sweep to earn a CSIA certification they must undergo a rigorous training and testing curriculum. This standardized process ensures that all certified sweeps have knowledge base that covers a variety of topics including:
- Current local and national building codes
- Current best practices and techniques for sweeping chimneys
- Chimney construction and draft dynamics
- Installation techniques for various heating appliances
- EPA emission standards for fuel burning appliances
A certification from the CSIA is not a lifetime title; instead, chimney sweeps must take continuing education courses and pass a recertification test every three years. This recertification process ensures that sweeps holding a CSIA certification are up to date on the latest advancements, standards, and safety practices in the industry.
What sets certified chimney sweeps apart?
A certified chimney sweep is different from someone going door to door with some brushes and tarps. The following are just a few of the things that set CSIA certified chimney sweeps apart from the competition.
- Code of Ethics. CSIA certified chimney sweeps subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics, protecting homeowners and preventing unsavory business practices. Sweeps found in violation of the ethics code can lose their certification.
- Reciprocal trades relationship. The CSIA maintains reciprocal trade relationship with affiliated trade groups such as homeowner associations, home inspectors, and realtors.
- National recognition. The CSIA certification is considered to be the top professional group in the fireplace industry. With sweeps in nearly every state, CSIA sweeps are often seen on news programs or quoted in publications as experts in the field.
Hiring a certified chimney sweep!
The CSIA database of certified chimney sweeps is a wonderful resource available to homeowners, allowing them to find a certified sweep in their area. By asking the following questions before hiring a chimney sweep, you can ensure you are working with a knowledgeable professional who can correctly care for your chimney system.
– How long have you been in business in this area? – Do you have references from current customers? – Does the company or chimney sweep carry liability insurance? – Will a CSIA certified chimney sweep work on my job site?
Working with a certified, professional chimney sweep can give you the peace of mind to enjoy your fireplace system all year long. For more information on the benefits of working with a CSIA certified chimney sweep or to schedule your next chimney services, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!