WITH winter approaching and temperatures plummeting, people are increasingly lighting their wood or coal fires to keep warm in the evenings.
But first, everyone should book a visit from a professional chimney sweep. Having your chimney cleaned is a requirement that should be done once or twice a year.
It is possible to clean the chimney yourself, but a professional chimney sweep can provide a certificate proving the chimney has been cleaned, which is required for insurance purposes in case of a fire. It is advisable to choose an experienced, well-established chimney sweep.
Blocked chimneys are blamed for many fires and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning as a build-up of soot and tar – and sometimes even birds’ nests – can stop fires or boilers burning efficiently. This can, in turn, cause them to catch fire.
Most local authorities say chimneys should be swept by a chimney sweep twice a year for coal and wood fires or oil boilers; once at the beginning of the season and once in winter. Gas boilers only need the flue to be cleaned once.
The occupant of a property that has a chimney, whether tenant or home-owner, is responsible for having it cleaned. However, the price of this procedure can vary from £50 to £70. Rentosweep charge £50.00 for a sweep including VAT and issue a certificate once completed.
The number of times per year you must employ a chimney sweep varies and for heavy users we would suggest twice per year whereby light users can have there chimney swept once per year.
Where the hearth is closed-off, or there is a thick layer of tar inside the flue or blocked by a birds nest, the cost of cleaning will be higher. Many chimney sweep also charge for working on the roof.