It seems that every day more and more people are talking about giving up their gas or electric heat and going to the traditional wood stove. And we can see that argument.
With gas and electric heating prices likely to skyrocket in the coming months due to recent world events, the prospect of providing only 10p / kWh for wood briquette heating certainly looks tempting. The heat of wood fuel is also 100% carbon neutral, so this choice will actually benefit the environment instead of harming it. And modern Ecodesign-ready wood burners can now be purchased for just £ 499.99, so the investment can pay off for itself in a few months for many people.
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Here’s the catch: All wood burners require constant maintenance. Without proper maintenance, they will become dangerous to use over time.
Chimney sweeping is the most important part of wood burner maintenance. In this article, we will tell you what you need to know about sweeping your chimney.
Is a chimney sweep necessary?
Chimney sweeping is important because it removes harmful compounds from the flu in your appliance.
The worst of these harmful compounds is cryosote, a highly toxic substance that is formed whenever smoke comes in contact with moisture. Build-up of this material in your chimney liner can create serious fires and health risks.
Well-dried, defra-approved ready-to-burn firewood slows down the process considerably, but does not completely stop it. This is because even the hardest-dried wood has a moisture content of at least 7% to 8% (figures of about 15% to 19% are much more common).
How often do I have to sweep my chimney?
According to this deep chimney sweep guide from Lecto Woodfuels, high-quality firewood users will need to rent a chimney sweep once a year. Users of low quality firewood may need to sweep the chimney about 3-4 times a year.
Since basic chimney sweeping services cost between £ 50 and 90, buying cheap firewood seems much less tempting.
How long will the chimney sweep take them to work?
There is no answer to this question. If you hire a qualified professional, only have a wood burning machine and your chimney is in good condition, the work can be done in 30 minutes.
If you have several burners or you need to repair one burner, the process can take up to four hours to complete properly.
Where can I Find a Licensed Chimney Sweep?
In the UK, chimney sweeps are licensed by companies such as HETAS. The company has a helpful chimney sweep finder page 8 To find a chimney sweep near you, all you have to do is enter your postcode and choose a certified business near you.
You would expect a HETAS-licensed broom to have special equipment for effective cleaning, industrial sheets to protect your home from dust and dirt, and a high-resolution endoscopic camera to record work results. At the end of the process, you can ask the broom to show pictures before and after.
When hiring a HETAS-certified chimney sweep, you can expect to pay between £ 70 and £ 90 for a basic sweep. There will be additional costs for anything above and beyond.
How can I save on a chimney sweep appointment?
Chimney sweeping is not a controlled occupation, so anyone with the right basic equipment can do the job. If money is hard, you can rent a chimney sweep from your local classified ad. If you go this route, you can expect to pay as little as 50 for a basic flu swab.
Can I sweep my own chimney?
Yes, there is nothing to stop you from sweeping your own chimney. Chimney sweep rods cost between £ 20 and £ 100, whereas a chimney sweeping brush will cost you between £ 30 and £ 90. If you are on a very tight budget, you may want to consider learning the trade and doing it yourself.