Chimney Maintenance

Why & When...

To aid the prevention of chimney fires and reduce the risk of dangerous fume emissions from blocked heating appliances, flueways and chimneys.

Chimneys need to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gasses.

By having your chimney swept on a regular basis, soot and creosote can be removed, helping to prevent a chimney fire. Cleaning will also increase the efficiency of some appliances by simply cleaning out the soot or cobwebs and debris.

The sweeping frequencies below are mainly for guidance. Frequency will depend on a number of factors including:

  • Type of fuel
  • Appliance used
  • Duration of use
  • Moisture content of wood/fuel
  • Type of chimney.

The following recommendations come from the relevant industry organisations;

Type of Fuel

Frequency

Smokeless Fuel At least once a year
Wood Quarterly (When in use)
Bituminous Coal Quarterly (When in use)
Oil Once a year
Gas Once a year

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Chimney fires can quickly spread to your home or business place, putting property, livelihoods, and loved ones in danger. House fires often also cause serious damage to the masonry and brick work, leaving you with an expensive repair bill.

If you only need your chimney swept once a year, you should ensure this is done before each winter, as birds often use chimneys as nesting spots. Falling stonework, rubble, cobwebs and leaves can block chimneys and stop or reduce the flow of air. Any of these things can block previously working chimneys, which can alter the combustion balance or cause Carbon Monoxide to enter the home instead of being safely vented from the property.

 

Carbon AwarenessCarbon Monoxide is a silent killer: it has no colour, taste or smell. Even low levels of Carbon Monoxide can lead to permanent ill-health or death, especially in children. The early symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can easily be mistaken for 'flu. They include nausea, headaches, tiredness, dizziness and pains in the stomach or chest. Look out for sooting or staining around your appliance: it is a sign of inadequate venting of gases.

It is vital that appliances are properly installed and serviced and have sufficient ventilation. We also strongly recommend the installation of a Carbon Monoxide detector in your home.