Every home has at least one chimney through which their main source of central heating is conducted. Over time, they require cleaning just as a furnace or central air system requires a tune-up. In a central heating chimney, depending upon the type of heating, i.e., natural gas, forced hot air, or oil, a chimney should always be checked periodically (at least once every 3-4 years) for damage, soot or other residue that may cause blockage and which can lead to a chimney fire. The cost for cleaning is relatively inexpensive and the time involved in the actual cleaning less than an hour, if the chimney has had prior cleaning service. Most chimney sweeps charge an average of $150 to $200 for general cleaning. This should include a full inspection for damage or any other masonry problems.