Chimney Information

How a Fireplace Works

As a fire burns in a fireplace, the air from the room is sucked through the grate and fuels the fire. As the fire burns, it releases numerous gases which rise as they are lighter than the surrounding air. The gases then escape up the chimney and are released into the atmosphere.

As these substances pass through the chimney, a substance referred to as soot begins to accumulate on the inside of the flue. This also includes a flammable substance called creosote.

Overtime, these deposits can begin to obstruct and eventually completely block the chimney. Such an obstruction can lead to an inefficient and potentially unsafe fireplace.

A clean, well functioning chimney is necessary not only to allow harmful gases to escape from the fireplace, but to also ensure that the fire burns efficiently. As hot air ascends into the chimney, the fire sucks in more air from the room through the grate, in order to fill the space that has been left behind. Without this continuous supply of air, the fire would burn itself out.

What Should I Do To Prepare for the Sweep?

In most cases, all you need to do is:

What Happens to the Soot?

Your sweep will bag the soot from the vacuum and then dispose of it at an approved waste disposal site.

How Do I Know if my Chimney wants Sweeping?

All chimneys would be swept within the recommended timescales to prevent the possibility of chimney fires and Carbon Monoxide posioning. Timescales are shown in the table below.

Fuel type Sweep Frequency
Smokeless coals At least once a year
Bituminous coal Twice a year
Wood Up to 4 times a year
Oil Once a year
Gas Once a year

Any of the following signs would indicate that your chimney needs sweeping: