How often does my chimney need be cleaned?

The National Fire Protection Association that writes all the codes and regulations for the Chimney Sweep profession states, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”  To sum up what can be a difficult question is that an inspection is the only way to really know if your chimney needs a necessary cleaning.  The average chimney is ready to be cleaned after a cord of wood has been burned.