If you're the type of homeowner that would let a complete stranger clean, or repair your chimney, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has a warning for you: Do your research, and don't be pressured into a contract.

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According to Connecticut DCP Commissioner Bryan Cafferelli, The state DCP has already received complaints from Connecticut residents this year about companies calling consumers to offer chimney sweeping services. Cafferelli warns:

"While some offers might be legitimate, some may be scams or companies working without the appropriate home improvement contractors registration. It's important to do your research and not be pressured into a contract or sale if a deal seems too good to be true."

If you're wondering how often you should have your chimney cleaned, the answer is usually every year, although most of the sites that I can find that aren't owned by chimney sweeping services say that two years is adequate. Listen to the experts, not me. What are some of the signs that you need to have your chimney cleaned? If you see a heavy buildup of soot, or creosote, the fire doesn't burn properly, or if you hear a critter taking up residence in your chimney, it's time to call a professional.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The Connecticut DCP suggests that you verify that anyone doing work on your home has the proper credential, before you hire them to clean your chimney. Check in with at least three references, and read their online reviews. Also,, ask any question you may have before signing a contract.

If you believe you've fallen victim to a scam, or your contract hasn't been honored, contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection at dcp.complaints@ct.gov.

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