October is the chim-chiminey-est time to prep your chimney for the chilly Vermont months ahead.

The National Fire Protection Association recommeNational Chimney Sweet Guild Logonds an annual chimney inspection and sweep for your home. This is because soot builds up on the inside of your chimney over the course of normal use, restricting the flow of heat up and out of your chimney.

More dangerously, though, soot can catch on fire, causing significant damage to your chimney and general property.

An inspection and sweep generally takes 60-90 minutes and costs up to $300.

You can find a certified chimney sweep here in Vermont through the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

We recommend local chimney sweep David Kehoe, of Artful Chimney Services -- (802) 658-3253.

PIECE OF TRIVIA: Did you know that in parts of Great Britain it's still considered lucky for a bride to see a chimney sweep on her wedding day? Many enterprising British sweeps still hire themselves out at weddings.

National Chimney Sweep Guild Logo.