If you’re lucky enough to enjoy the use of a fluid fireplace, you will know that there are few places more comfortable and inviting than being sat in front of one on a cold Winter’s day. The heat provided, accompanied with the occasional crackle and pop of seasoned hardwood slowly combusting is one of life’s simple pleasures. Yet this enjoyment comes at a cost – regular maintenance and sweeping to ensure continued performance. Here we’ll go through why your chimney should not be neglected.
Health and Safety
The chimney attached to your fireplace works on the same principles as a car’s exhaust system;
- As your chosen fuel is burning, poisonous waste gasses are produced which need to be expelled from the fireplace and out of your home to prevent inhalation.
- If your chimney hasn’t been swept in a while, soot and creosote deposits collect on the internal walls which become thicker and denser with time. These deposits can be ignited from the heat of your fireplace and in the worst cases can cause a serious fire.
- A dirty chimney will also inhibit the ability to effectively remove carbon monoxide which is a by-product of combustion. Carbon monoxide is deadly but cannot be smelt and can only be detected by a device available for purchase for your home.
Fireplace safety should not be taken lightly, a healthy and unobstructed chimney is vital to the safety of your home and its occupants.
A More Efficient Burn
A partially blocked chimney is also going to negatively impact upon the way air and waste gasses are able to efficiently circulate and be exhausted from your fireplace. This may lead to undesirable burn characteristics where your fire isn’t able to produce the same amount of heat it once did. This can lead to;
- Using excessive amounts of fuel to produce a consistent level of heat
- Inconsistent behavior in the flames produced by your fire, ranging from excessive to not enough to keep the fuel alight
- A noticeable rise in the amount of smoke being generated from your fireplace
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Excessive heat build-up caused by a blocked or dirty chimney has the ability to damage the internal liner of your flue which can result in costly repairs. The other internal components of a chimney such as the smoke shelf and dampers will also benefit from regular sweeping to increase their life expectancy. This will result in a fireplace that not only performs well but costs less to run.
Find a Qualified Team
Chimney Sweeping is a skill and requires training and experience. The heating organisation, HETAS, recommends that all chimney sweeps are HETAS qualified and have completed an approved training course to assess competency. If you’re looking for chimney sweeps in West Sussex, or throughout the South East, be sure to check for these qualifications to ensure that the people looking after your fireplace are competent and professional. Regular cleaning and maintenance will allow your fireplace to continue providing you with enjoyment for years to come.