Chimney Sweeps – Do You Need One?
Will you need to get your chimney swept?
Chimney Sweeps, do you need one? Cor-blimey, you don’t need Dick Van Dyke to tell you the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
Calling upon the services of a good chimney sweep is an essential part of being a wood-burning stove or fireplace owner. You’ll want to keep it clean for the good of your stove, your property and your household.
In fact, you will need to get your chimney swept before installing a wood burning stove or fireplace. This will remove the soot and creosote that has built up. This is a very flammable and corrosive by-product of burning wood and can prove extremely dangerous if it builds up in the chimney. The heat can cause it to ignite causing a chimney fire. A sweep can clear out your chimney, inspect it for any other problems and offer sound advice on use and maintenance.
You want to get rid of these deposits because:
- they increase the risk of chimney fires
- they cause your stove/fire to be less efficient, costing you money
It’s worth pointing out that, used correctly, the modern stoves sold by the Victorian Fireplace Store are far less susceptible to deposit large amounts of creosote than wood-burning stoves of yesteryear, but there will always be some build-up. That means it’s important that you don’t take the risk of not getting your chimney swept.
It’s equally important that you ensure that your chimney is swept properly and professionally. That means getting in touch with HETAS, the Government recognised body that approves services related to solid fuel heating appliances. That includes chimney sweeps.
How often should you get your chimney sweeped?
It really depends on how often you light your stove or fireplace and which type of fuel you use. We would suggest at least once or twice a year.
So, how do you know a chimney sweep has gone through this training and screening process? It’s simple, the HETAS website offers a handy search tool allowing you to search for approved sweeps in your area.
Chimney sweeps are in the enviable position of being an industry that is thriving despite the recession. They have been given a new lease on life by the growing demand for wood-burning stoves and now offer a range of services.
“We are now known as chimney sweep technicians because there is so much more to it. There’s been a huge increase in wood-burning stoves. They are very fashionable at the moment and a new generation of people want them” says Martin Cain, President of National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS).
“Also, with the rise in energy costs, people are concerned about gas and electricity. We can replace gas and electric fires with wood-burning stoves.”
The BBC has reported on the growing demand and showed that sales of stoves, both wood-burning and multi-fuel rose 40% in 2008. The industry is also experiencing a significant rise of trainee sweeps including Gina Somerton, a 42-year-old mother of three. She opened her own business, Lady Sweep, in 2002 and hasn’t looked back.
“I wanted to be my own boss, I wanted to be able to spend time with my children during the summer” she says. “It might sound strange to some people, but to me it’s perfect.
“It’s true that I get dirty. But I can come home and have a shower afterwards, can’t I?”
The question is: how do you find a good chimney sweep?
Trust accredited chimney sweeps
Our best advice – in order to give you the best possible chance of finding a reliable chimney sweep – is to track down a chimney sweep who is part of an accredited trade body.
Of course, there is no foolproof way of ensuring you get the right person for the job. But choosing someone who is a member of an accredited body gives you the best possible chance of finding someone who is capable of completing this job to a high standard.
We hope this article has helped you, be sure to take a look around our website we have many different products available which may be of interest to you.