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Should I rely on those or sweep the chimney out? We probably only burn about 20 fires a year at the most. All oak mostly, some ash. Thanks!
 

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No more than what you burn, I would say burning one of those once a year couldn't hurt. I probably would sweep the chimney once every 5 years...

I lived in British Columbia for 13 yrs, and we heated the house exclusively with a wood burning stove. I burned 8 chords of wood every year. I also cleaned the chimney every year, and had my own tools to do it. Mind you ours was more of a stove pipe, than a proper chimney.

One way to do it would be to get a length of chain, drop it down the chimney, and bang it around on the sides to cause all the crud to fall off.
 
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