How often should I get my chimney swept?

It really depends on what you will be burning and what kind of appliance you have, as to when it will next need sweeping.

For Open fires without a chimney liner burning;

  • Smokeless fuel or seasoned wood;  sweep once every year
  • Bitumous coal; sweep every 3 months when in daily use. 

For Oil or Gas fires;  sweep once every year

For Multifuel stoves, Log burners or open fires, with a liner or twin wall pipe, burning;

  • Smokeless fuel;   sweep once every year when you stop using your fire for the Summer. Avoid if not in Smoke controlled area. This will help prolong the life of the stainless steel in the liner or twin walled pipe.
  • Seasoned wood only; sweep when you stop using your fire for the Summer and then after three months when you start using it every day. For example; June and January and April. (Less in a warm year)
  • Bitumous Coal; sweep when you stop using your fire for the Summer and then half way through the burning season. Usually; June and January.

Please note that these guidelines assume that you are using your fire or multifuel stove every day throughout the colder months.

.

For more information on chimney sweeping visit www.chimneysweep.info

 

My stove is cracked inside

Inside your stove are thin bricks made of a dense insulator that expands and cools as part of the normal process of using your woodburner or multifuel stove. It is perfectly normal for these bricks to crack over time, and it is safe to continue using the stove.

Do not remove the cracked bricks however as this will make your stove work less efficiently. If the bricks are unable to stay in the stove because of the crack of have crumbed away dramatically, contact us online or give us a call on  014462 671555 and we will organise replacement bricks.

These bricks are not covered by the warranty if they crack within the first year, as your warranty covers the stove body. The main body being defined as the steel outer casing and items fixed immovably to the casing.

Inset Multi-fuel stove

Can I leave the air vents open?

Air vents being open is absolutely fine and is also better for your liner as it avoids burning fuel at low temperatures and thus creates less soot.  Stoves suitable for smoke exempt areas have air vents that are permanently open for precisely this reason.

Vents that are fully open all the time will mean the fire is roaring constantly however, so a good idea to get a  stove thermometer to ensure that you are not burning your stove too hot. You don’t have to spend a lot for one of these and they really do help.

stovethermometer

How long to remove a birds nest from my chimney?

A simple straightforward sweep of a regular sized chimney takes around half an hour. Sometimes however customers have birds nests blocking their chimneys. These are not the small circular birds nests that you see in trees in your garden and on Easter cakes. The birds create these nests by filling the chimney stack (6 metres or so) with twigs, moss and other debris to cement it together. Once the chimney is full enough to their liking they then build a smaller nest within the twigs in which they lay eggs. It can take up to 90 minutes to clear the chimney and make it safe to use, and for this we charge a little extra. We will however leave you the twigs that are removed as they often make excellent kindling for your fire.

Remove a birds nest from chimney      Massive birds nest

nest3

To avoid this problem have a bird guard fitted or netting fixed to the top of the chimney pots. More about bird guards …..

Is rain getting in my chimney?

If the fireplace is bricked up or you have an open fire and you notice a damp patch on the wall of the chimney breast, rain may be coming down the chimney.  A rain cowl will help stop this happening. If you notice this problem and have a woodburning stove, it may indicate that there is something wrong with the cowl or the liner in the flue.

More about cowls, bird guards and caps

zbirdguardcowl

My firebrick is cracked, should I be worried

The rear brick is made from a natural mineral called Vermiculite which is an awesome insulator and will eventually break when exposed to the kinds of temperatures that you find in stoves. It expands as it gets hot and so will inevitably crack and wear away during normal usage of your wood burning stove. A crack will reduce the efficiency of the stove a tiny bit, but is safe to use and not at all unusual. Keep your eye on it when you empty or clean out the stove (when it is cool) and when it is wearing thin give me a call to arrange replacing it.

320px-vermiculite1

 

Cast iron or steel stoves?

It’s really up to you, steel heats up faster than cast-iron but it does not hold or radiate heat for as long. So it really depends whether you want to heat up the room quickly or want the room to stay warm for longer after it has gone out. Some manufacturers are now producing a mixture of the two to provide customers with the best of both worlds such as Hunter Stoves.

hunterstoves

Take a look at our gallery of woodburners that we have installed.

Do I need planning permission for a woodburner?

The Building Regulations were updated in 2010 after which any woodburners installed before this are likely not to meet safety standards. If your chimney sweep has condemned your woodburner  you may need to undertake work to bring it back up to meet current safety standards. Take a look at this approved document on www.gov.uk to find out what safety measures you need in place.

carbon-monoxide-detector

We recommend and install FireAngel carbon monoxide alarms (CO), one of the mandatory items needed in a safe and legal installation. Read more…

Do I need a stove thermometer?

Stove thermometers are very useful as they help you spot wood that is too wet to burn and displays when you are over burning your stove and thus maybe causing damage to it and the chimney.  They are magnetic and sit on the vitreous pipe coming out of the stove and so are very easy to fit.

Ask in your free site survey with a HETAS registered installer for a stove thermometer to be added.

stovethermometer

Answers to your woodburner and chimney sweeping questions. Contact us if you have a different question.