My sweep pal was here yesterday morning for my biennial or triennial chimney cleanings. We have posted here several times about chimney fires and chimney cleaning, such as here.
Attention recent college grads: He gets $150/chimney, and it takes him 20-30 minutes. A discount for multiple chimneys. He runs his own life his own way. Retired USMC.
He is a fireplace buff and keeps a wood stove burning in his kitchen all fall and winter. He has a place on Cape Cod and burns there on those cool damp summer evenings too. He agrees with me that a clean fireplace makes a lousy fire. You need a 5 or 6" pile of ash underneath. A clean chimney is another matter. I keep the Maggie's Farm home fire burning all day, October-May. Generally, he scrapes a bucket of stuff out of my flue each time he comes.
Why don't I invest in the brushes and do it myself?
Perhaps I will. We have protection these days from ye olde Chimney Sweep's Cancer - cancer of the scrotum. Nasty disease.