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.


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


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


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.



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.


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 to find out what safety measures you need in place.


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.


Whats that funny smell?

When your stove is new and you light it for the first time, it may give off a funny smell for a short time. This is nothing to worry about but if you start to notice any tar like substances forming on the window or in the stove, you may be using the stove incorrectly. Always make sure you read through the instruction manual for you stove and keep it in a safe place.

If you have lost yours, try searching for it on the internet or visit the manufacturers website. Here are a few links;

Arada stoves

Dovre stoves

Hunter Documentation 

oregon operating instructions

Arizona 8kW Oregon Multifuel Stove


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