Despite it not being the most glamorous part of owning a stove or open fire, getting your chimney swept is essential. The good news is that you don’t need to do it yourself; the chimney sweep is far from being a person of the past, and there are still many qualified professionals who can sweep your chimney for you. But why do you need to keep your chimney swept?
In this article, we’ll explain why it’s important to get your chimney swept, how often it needs to be done, and what would happen if you continued to use an unswept chimney.
Do all chimneys need to be swept?
Regardless of the shape, size and age of your chimney, and no matter what it’s made of, if you use it to burn fuel, it needs to be swept. Your chimney facilitates the escape of the byproducts of burning wood, coal, oil and gas, so it’s vital that it continues to do that safely.
Why should I get my chimney swept?
Through use, chimneys can be home to a build up of soot and creosote from the burning of fuel below, as well as debris that drops in from above, such as birds nests. This compromises the passage of combustion gases up to the fresh air above, leaving it no choice but to drift back down.
Sweeping the chimney clears and cleans the chimney and flue, ensuring that smoke and gas can get away safely.
How often does a chimney need sweeping?
The frequency of a visit from the chimney sweep will depend on what you’re burning. These are the general rules of thumb:
- Burning wood or bituminous house coal – at least twice a year
- Smokeless fuels – once a year
It’s best to make sure that your chimney is swept before the winter season, and when the chimney hasn’t been used for a long period of time.
What happens if I don’t sweep my chimney?
There are huge safety concerns when it comes to continuing to use an unswept chimney, and the seriousness should not be downplayed.
For one thing, the accumulation of soot and debris prevents the evacuation of dangerous fumes – and these can then make their way into your home causing potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.
Not only this, but this soot is still combustible, which could lead to a catastrophic chimney fire.
Choose your next fire, fireplace or stove
Having a fuel-burning appliance or an open fire in your home is a responsibility, but it’s also hugely satisfying. If you’d like help and advice on choosing the right fire, fireplace or stove for you, we’re here to help at Wakefords. Our experienced team can talk you through your options, ensuring you’re ready for comfort and warmth as we approach winter.