Chimneys should be cleaned (swept) at regular intervals. The frequency which you will require our services will depend upon several factors:
How often the fire/stove is used - The more frequently the fire is used the more frequently it will require cleaning. Many of today’s houses have alternative forms of heating which means that fires may be used once or twice a week or at weekends. It is important to remember when the flue was last cleaned so that proper intervals can be maintained.
What fuel is burnt – The following statistics are based upon a fire in frequent use:
A least twice a year. However, poor quality coal may require the flue to be cleaned more frequently.
At least once a year.
Four times a year (when in use). The wood should be well seasoned and must not be damp.
Oil / Gas:
Once a year.
How the fuel is burnt – When using your fire tha the temperature at which it is operated can have an effect on the build-up of deposits in the flue. A fire/stove that is left to smoulder for long periods will burn at a lower temperature and lead to increased build up of deposits
What are the danger signs to look out for?
a. Smoking fire: This may indicate several different problems. For example the flue may be blocked or severely restricted with heavy deposits, birds may have nested in the chimney, your chimney may be affected by down draughts, or, their may be a build-up of cold and heavy stagnant air within the flue.
b. Soot falls: The likely cause of this is that the heavy deposits that have built-up, have begun to fall into the fire. Alternatively, if the Chimney pot does not have a guard or cowl on, a bird may have fallen into the flue and become stuck.
c. Slow burning: This is a sign of either poor ventilation (i.e. the fire is not getting enough air to allow it to burn properly), or the chimney is in some part blocked thereby not allowing the exhaust gasses to escape and restricting it’s operation.