Chimney Sweeping

Cleaner Air

Why Sweep Your Chimney?

Clean chimneys burn more efficiently, which will save you money, as well as helping to preserve the environment.

Regular sweeping is vital to remove blockages and soot. This prevents fires and allows deadly combustion gases to be safely vented through the chimney. Clean chimneys burn more efficiently, which will save you money, as well as helping to preserve the environment.

 

How Often Should I Sweep My Chimney?

Smokless Coals: Once a year

Wood: Twice a year when in use

Bitumous Coal: Twice a year

Oil: Once a year

Gas: Once a year

Thatched Roofs: Twice a year

 

Why Sweep Your Chimney?

If you hire an DSI Sweep, you can be confident that you will receive a professional, courteous and conscientious service from a rigorously trained person, with the back-up of a professional body.

Cleaner Chimneys Cleaner Air

The Do’s and Don’ts to help you save money and preserve the environment.

Only burn smokeless fuel or properly seasoned wood with a moisture content below 20%. Wood should be burnt with as less moisture as possible, current thinking is that should be 20% or below, someplace only burn wood with moisture content of 16% or below.

Do not burn wood on an open fire in a smoke-free zone. It is illegal to burn wood on open fires in smoke-free zones, as there is no way of preventing smoke emitting from the flue, Local Authorities can prosecute households.

Do not burn fence posts, painted-off cuts, or varnished wood, burning these materials will pollute the atmosphere. The chemicals in the wood when burnt will be inhaled and lead to long term health issues.

Never burn House coal, House Coal emits pollutants and dark soot, which lead to smog.

Do not slumber your stove overnight, slumbering reduces the air feeding the fire, in turn, this creates smoke as the fire struggles to breathe, it is perhaps the worst thing you can do to your stove.

Use a stove thermometer, using a thermometer will allow you to burn at the right temperature, burning between these levels will be both fuel and cost-efficient saving you money in the long run.

Never overload your stove with logs, overloading will result in overburning. Overburning in an effort to gain more heat will only damage the baffle plate, which will require replacing at some point. It may even result in damaging the flue system.

Maintain your appliance and flue. As noted, for the long-term reliability and efficiency of your stove and flue always maintain the system think of it as an annual MOT or checking your car before a long journey.

Only use a properly qualified person to install your appliance. It is vitally important that you use a properly qualified installer, installing a stove is relatively simple, however, there are many pitfalls and elements that must be taken, they are not always obvious and therefore only an experienced installer. Always ask for a certificate of qualification, and recommendations, and before you part with any money ask for the data plate and a guarantee.

Chimney Sweep Best Practices

What your Chimney Sweep should be doing.

If you have a regular Chimney Sweep you may sometimes wonder whether he or she is doing a good job. The nature of the work means it is often difficult to know what is actually going on up there.

This is a guide to some of the basic principles your Chimney Sweep should take in order to protect your home from falling soot and clean the flue to a good standard ensuring there is no obstacles.

The sweep from start to finish should take between 45 minutes and 1 hour as a minimum, anything less than that may meen corners are being cut and the sweep is not complete.

Sheeting up takes around 15minutes maybe longer depending on the circumstances, your sweep must take precautions to protect your home, which means floor sheets and runners from the front door to the fires location, and sheeting to cover the stove or the fire opening. This will prevent any soot escaping from any kind of accidental spillages or falling soot.

The vacuum used must be an industrial type with HEPA filter, “Do not except a Henri Vacuum” or any domestic vacuum type, as good as they are, they are not capable of doing the job Chimney Sweeps need to do. This will ensure the Sweeps contain 99% of the microscopic particles entering the vacuum drum. Otherwise with a none industrial vacuum without a HEPA filter those particles will circulate in your home and you will breath them in. Not only polluting the atmosphere but damaging your lungs and everyone in the house.

Make sure the Sweep checks the brush can be seen exiting the Chimney Pot from street level, to be sure we advise you also confirm it has exited. This will ensure the Sweep has swept the full length of the fuel system. It does not ensure they have cleaned it sufficiently, and you should take note of the time spent sweeping.

Once the sweep has swept and removed the brushes, a smoke draw test must be conducted. A Smoke Draw test with gage the amount of air flowing through the flue. A good draw will translate into a good working fire, as enough air will be flowing through the flue to feed the fire. An adequate draw will translate into an adequate working fire, and a poor draw will translate into a poor working fire.

Please note the draw of your flue may be affected by elements outside of the Chimney Sweeps work, such as atmospheric conditions, which can affect the draw.

So, given it takes around 15 minutes to sheet up 10-15 minutes sweeping, and clearing away, removing vacuum, and sheets etc. plus the time spent issuing a certificate anything less than 45 minutes is pushing the boundaries of inefficient sweep.

Which Wood Should I Burn?

As Chimney Sweeps we often get asked “Which wood Should I burn in my Stove?”

It’s not such a silly question all wood burns so on the face of it the answer should be any, obviously right?

It would be fair to say that all wood burns, but some depending on the density burn at different speeds or slower than others this can be a benefit, however, it doesn’t always mean it’s good.

Slow burning wood may also burn at a low temperature, and that might appear your stove isn’t drawing sufficiently. Faster burning woods as a general rule produces better heat output with a strong flame.

Fast burning woods burn as it suggests at a fast rate, this will result in you burning more, whilst a noticeable difference in the heat output will benefit the home, but you will burn more wood with costs associated.

So, as you can see the answer to the question is not so simple, for that reason we would recommend mixing both types. Listed below is a brief outline of the common types available.

All wood should be seasoned for at least 24 months and never burn wood with a moisture content above 20% Preferably do not purchase wood in a plastic bag or from a garage where wood is stored open to the elements.

Apple: burns slowly, but with a good flame, and moderate heat output.

Ash: fast-burning with good heat output.

Beech: burns in a similar fashion to Ash.

Birch: burns quickly and produces a strong heat output

Horse Chestnut: has a strong flame and good heat output

Chestnut: A moderate fuel that produces a small flame and weak heat output.

Oak: is a hardwood that burns very slowly with low moderate output.

Cedar: good heat output burns well

Sycamore: burns with a good flame, with moderate heat.

Rowan: A good firewood that burns hot and slow.

Plum: provides good heat with a nice aromatic scent.

Pine: species generally: burns with a splendid flame, good heat output, but spit.

Pear: burns with good heat, good scent and no spitting.

Maple: A good all round firewood.

Hawthorn: good firewood, burns hot and slow.