Safety Advice and FAQ

Below are a few answers to questions I have received recently, however issues or concerns you may have I am more than happy to discuss over the phone.  Your safety is paramount but please remember that a clean chimney is a safe chimney.

Why do I need to have my chimney/flue swept?

Chimneys need to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning will increase the efficiency of some appliances. Bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages will be removed.

 How often does my chimney need sweeping?

The sweeping frequencies below are for guidance. Frequency will depend on a number of factors including: Type of fuel, appliance used, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, and type of chimney. I will be able to advise on sweeping frequency during the appointment, the sweeping frequencies below are for guidance.

Smokeless fuel: At least once a year
Wood: Quarterly when in use
Bituminous coal: Quarterly when in use
Oil: Once a year
Gas: Once a year

What is the best fuel to use?

For certain appliances, there is a recommended fuel, and this is the one you should use. In appliances where there are no such requirements, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. As a general fuel we recommend wood. It is clean, gives good heat and is carbon neutral. However, at the end of the day, some people don’t get on with wood and find coal suits them better. If you are looking at coal, find your local approved coal merchant who will have the expert knowledge to guide you.

Why do I need to sweep a chimney before it is closed off?

 If a chimney is closed off, it can get a bit damp. If there is and soot up there, then this soot can turn to a black acidic slurry that in an old chimney can soak into the internal walls causing severe problems. If bad enough this damp can penetrate through to the room where it will cause unpleasant stains on the walls.

A bird has come down my chimney, how do I stop this from happening again?

At Swan Sweeps we can advise you on a suitable terminal/guard for your chimney.

I’ve just moved house – do I need to have my chimney cleaned?

 Yes! A chimney fire isn’t the kind of housewarming you want.

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