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Does Your Chimney Work?

  • 5 years ago

Whether you’re thinking of moving or not, now spring is on the way it’s time to take care of your chimney to make sure it’s in good working order.

Your chimney needs maintenance, but lots of homeowners think they can just leave it there, conducting smoke and hot gases away from the fire, indefinitely. They’re wrong, as a chimney needs regular sweeping and also an inspection every few years to make sure there are no problems developing. Blockages can lead to chimney fires and even health issues.

Here’s how to look after your chimney.

Make sure you have the right sort of fire

This might sound silly, but it’s important. What you burn really makes a difference to your chimney. Use well-seasoned wood that was cut at least six months beforehand. If you store your wood, make sure it’s in a dry place or is well-covered. Try to avoid burning household rubbish unless it’s paper (not wrapping paper) or non-oily foodstuffs. Also, although you already know this, don’t ever use varnished wood or flammable liquids to light or maintain a fire. Burning the wrong materials can lead to excess deposits in the chimney.

Only clean out the fireplace when the ashes are cool

Sometimes you do have to clean out hot ashes, so when you do, place them in a metal container and leave them outside the house. Smouldering ashes can release deadly carbon monoxide.

Remember that you have a fire burning in your home

You’re burning flammable material – at great temperatures – inside your home! It’s all too easy to forget this fact and just see your fire as the thing that warms your home and gives you something to sit next to. Install smoke and carbon monoxide monitors on each floor of your house, use a fireguard and only burn appropriate materials.

Call in a chimney sweep each year

That fire doesn’t just kick out heat, it kicks out smoke and dangerous gases, so your chimney needs to work properly. Having your chimney swept either before or after winter means it can funnel out smoke and gases, leaving you with just the lovely warmth!

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