If you have easy access to the chimney or are comfortable that you can work off a ladder at the chimney, this is a good DIY maintenance task. You will need to measure the inside dimensions of the chimney flue and order the correct brush and sets of fiberglass rods. The Chimney sweeping is done with a plunger like motion rather than just down and back, make short strokes to really dislodge any build up. Be sure you know how to access the bottom of the chimney and smoke shelf to clean up all debris. Oh, and did I mention, be sure to seal off the fireplace opening inside before starting.

Pros can provide more complete inspection services and advise you of problems they see. For example they might see very glassy looking creosote that indicates a chimney fire hazard. They also use truck mounted vacuums that remove ash and soot without exhausting in the house. Finally, they must like ladders, or they wouldn’t do what they do. Its a good DIY project, and done frequently to prevent buildup will provide a safer, better functioning fireplace or wood stove.