The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful… just make sure that the chimney is clean and in good condition. The official first day of winter is this week, but in much of Iowa, chilly temperatures are already here. A properly working fireplace is an efficient way to cut down on energy costs. If a chimney is not regularly cleaned, chimney problems can result, including fires, collapses and even carbon monoxide poisoning. So, before firing up your furnace or building your first fireplace blaze, it makes sense to make sure your chimney is up for the challenge.