Regular servicing and maintenance of your chimney and appliance is crucial for an efficient and safe natural heating system
As a fire burns in a fireplace or stove, the air from the room goes through the grate and fuels the fire. The fire then releases numerous gases which rise, as they are lighter than the surrounding air, carrying minuscule waste particles from your fuel as they go.
These gases escape up the chimney or liner and are released into the atmosphere. As these gases pass through the chimney, a substance commonly referred to as ‘soot’ begins to accumulate on the walls as the miniscule particles are deposited. This includes a flammable substance called creosote. Over time, these deposits build up and begin to obstruct, and eventually completely block, the chimney or liner.
Obstructions can also be caused by birds’ nests, leaves, debris and even cobwebs! Jackdaws favour chimneys as urban living spaces, building their nests about! Another example often forgotten about is any moderations to your chimney prior to your occupation for example blocking up, draught excluding etc. which could also affect the efficiency of your chimney.
Any obstruction can lead to an inefficient, and potentially unsafe, fireplace. This can be explained by the fact that a well-functioning chimney is necessary not only to allow potentially harmful gases to escape from the room, but also to ensure that the fire burns efficiently.
Areas of concern must be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Soot builds up from coal, oil, gas and wood fired systems and must be removed regularly to prevent creosoting – a shiny, highly flammable coating on the inside of the chimney.
The worst case scenario of a blocked chimney or liner is a fire – there has been a massive 28% increase in chimney fires in recent years in the UK – the British are less inclined or used to dealing with chimneys since the introduction of gas central heating and no legislation making chimney sweeping or appliance servicing compulsory! In France however, there are differing regulations and differing habits depending on what you have and where you live!
Modern chimney sweeping is an efficient and clean process helping to provide a safer, more reliable chimney and clearing any potentially dangerous blockages.
Regular servicing and maintenance of your chimney and appliance will also assist in identifying and issues early ultimately keeping you and your family safe.