The Chimney…The exhaust to your home

Santa-Stuck-rn0wd1Fireplaces are busy at this time of year, with Santa’s imminent arrival down the chimney. We all know that the hearth provides the perfect setting for story-telling, snoozing and generally recovering from the season’s excesses.

But, how often do you check your chimney is in good nick? Never mind Santa and the delivery of goodies. Your fireplace could be a hazard, and the problems are hidden from view.

You need to protect against blockages, smoke leaks, inadequate ventilation, insufficient draw, down-draught and tar build-up.

When did you last have the flue swept? Has it been tested for smoke integrity to ensure that no cracks or faults have developed? Are dangerous gases able to escape?


sweep3‘If you have an occasional solid-fuel fire, you should have your chimney swept once a year. If it’s in daily use, you should have it swept twice a year.


As a chimney is essentially a household exhaust pipe, funneling away soot, smoke, gases, hot ashes and sparks, sweeping should be an essential part of home maintenance. It is no longer a job that ushers forth black clouds of soot ready for Victorian housemaids to clean up.


A modern, sealed sweep ensures that your flue is safe and unclogged by bird nests, soot build-ups, and any other debris that might have dropped down from the chimney pot. Just as a roof tile may dislodge, so a chimney lining can deteriorate, exposing mortar joints and brickwork to corrosion and, ultimately, collapse. Flue liners should be fitted by an approved and registered HETAS installer. Look after your flue and it will look after you for years to come.


The older the house, the greater the risk, so play it safe and get a registered chimney sweep out to check that chimney


Chimney Sweep

A sweep costs between £45 to £90, depending on where you live. Prices increase according to the number of floors in the building, or the height of the chimney.

Chimney sweeps are traditionally associated with good luck. In central Europe, ornamental sweeps are attached to flowers or confectionery as a New Year present. Don’t leave your chimney to good luck though, and keep it clean and enjoy a safe and warm Christmas.