QUESTIONS & ADVICE
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my chimney need sweeping?
Chimneys need regular sweeping to...
Maintain the efficiency of the open fire or appliance
To remove sooty deposits that impede the flow of gases that could result in carbon monoxide seeping into the room
To prevent a build-up of creosote that can result in a chimney fire
To maintain the validity of your home insurance.
In the event of a chimney fire where the property is damaged, insurance companies will require that you have maintained the chimney in accordance with recommendations.
A sweeping certificate issued by an approved chimney sweep provides proof of this maintenance.
How often does my chimney need sweeping?
The recommendation for sweeping open fires or stoves burning wood or town coal is twice a year, mid-season and end of season.
Does my stainless steel liner need sweeping?
Steel liners and fabricated chimney systems need sweeping just the same as a brick, concrete or clay chimney, frequency as per fuels burned
Why does the glass on my stove go black?
This is normally caused by burning damp fuel, and ‘slumbering’ or shutting down the air supply to the stove.
What equipment do you use?
At Home-sweep we use a variety of equipment depending upon the flue or liner and its condition. This includes conventional rods, a ‘Viper’ which is the preferred equipment for stainless steel liners, and power sweeping; all are used in conjunction with a vacuum system.
What kind of stove should I buy, a multi-fuel or wood-burner?
A wood-burner can only be used to burn wood, whereas a multi-fuel stove can burn wood, coal or smokeless fuel. Wood gives a nicer flame but doesn’t give as much heat as smokeless fuel or coal.
If the stove is for a primary source of heating, a multi-fuel is likely to be a better choice, whereas if it’s a secondary source of heating and perhaps to create that ‘cosy’ atmosphere, a wood burner may be more appropriate.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an extremely poisonous gas that can be present in the fumes from the combustion of fuel’s which aren’t burnt under the correct conditions. Fuels such as gas, oil, solid mineral fuel and biomass all have the potential to emit CO. The gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted making it difficult to detect.
Protect yourself from CO
Ensure your chimney is kept clear by having it swept at frequent intervals by an approved and registered Chimney Sweep
Make sure the installation complies with Building Regulations guidance. The guidance is there to protect you.
Fit an audible CO alarm conforming to BS EN 50291 and positioned in accordance with Building Regulations.
Ensure your gas appliances are installed and serviced by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Carbon monoxide alarms should be regularly tested and should not be regarded as a substitute for regular maintenance of the appliance and chimney.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
The early symptoms of CO poisoning are usually similar to common ailments such as upset stomach, tiredness and flu. Common symptoms include;
Nausea and/or vomiting
Dizziness or Collapse
Chest and/or stomach pains
Erratic behaviour and/or Visual problems
Actions to take in a CO emergency
If you suspect fumes are escaping from your combustion appliance into your home, or your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, leave the building immediately and don’t return until your appliance or boiler has extinguished and the air in the room is clear. Open doors and windows to ventilate the building. Turn the appliance off.
If you feel unwell go to your Doctor, or call one of the following:
Call NHS Direct on 111 (in England)
NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 (in Wales)
NHS 24 on 111 (in Scotland)