Why should I get my Chimney swept?

Posted by Katy Mills on

Coal fires generate a lot of soot which can bung up a chimney very quickly.  Wood fires also generate some soot but it also creates a lot of tar and creosote. Both these substances are bad for your chimney or flue especially when they build up. They are flammable, corrosive and can cause a chimney fire.

It is therefore essential when you are using a solid fuel appliance and burning coal, ovals or indeed wood, that you use it in a safe manner. Proper maintenance and correct use of your solid fuel appliance could save lives.


You know you have a problem when you get a bubbly looking crispy substance falling down the flue and into the stove. This is burnt or boiled creosote. Heat from the fire can crack or damage a masonry chimney, stainless steel liner, pot liner or pumice system and their integrity cannot be trusted. Imagine the cost of replacing this if they were damaged. All this can be avoided by taking the simple step of getting your chimney or flue swept and cleaned at least once a year.

If something was to happen to your chimney, the first question the insurance company would ask would be `when did you last have it swept`?  The second would be can you provide a certificate of sweeping?

Even if you do not use the fire from one year to the next, if you are thinking of lighting it you should have the chimney swept to check that it is not blocked. 

Sweeping regularly improves the draft through the appliance once swept, significantly improving the efficiency too making it cheaper to run.

If you do take steps to prevent problems with your chimney or flue then remember, it is important that you use a professional chimney sweep.  You can get in touch with HETAS, the Government recognised body which approves services related to solid fuel heating appliances, including chimney sweeps.

Find your nearest Approved Chimney Sweep here.

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