Having an open fire or a wood burner is amazing. Having a burning fire at home is incredibly calming and relaxing. Unlike natural gas or coal, wood fuel is a completely carbon neutral source of energy, so it is a great choice for eco-conscious people. Not to mention the fact that heating your home with wood costs several times less than both gas and electric options (you can pay as little as 10p/kWh).
But if you want your wood burning appliance to serve you well, you need to maintain it properly. The most important part of wood burner maintenance is a yearly visit from a local chimney sweep.
In this article, we will look at all aspects of hiring a chimney sweep. We'll discuss why it is important to have your chimney swept, what does a chimney sweep do to your appliance to keep it healthy, and why you probably shouldn't attempt to learn how to sweep a chimney yourself. We'll also discuss how long does it take to sweep a chimney and how much does a chimney sweep cost in the UK in 2022.
Why Sweep Chimneys?
So why is chimney sweeping necessary? Whenever wet wood is burned, it smoulders, smokes, and releases various particles that build up in your chimney in the form of soot and creosote. The latter in particular is highly toxic and combustible. Its buildup in your chimney liner can potentially lead to a fire hazard. If you burn freshly cut or poorly seasoned wood, it can take as little as a few weeks for this to become a problem.
Do I Still Need to Hire a Chimney Sweep if I Use Ready to Burn Firewood?
Yes, need to hire a chimney sweep even if you use quality firewood. Low moisture Ready to Burn firewood doesn't smoulder when burned and produces virtually no smoke. As a result, the buildup of soot and creosote happens a lot slower and you don't need to hire a chimney sweep as often. However, this doesn't mean that there is no creosote buildup whatsoever. You still need to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional regularly.
How Often Should You Sweep Your Chimney?
Most wood fuel experts recommend having your chimney swept at least once a year. If you use poor quality firewood, however, you might need to hire a chimney sweep as many as 4 times a year as per NACS recommendations.
When Is the Best Time to Hire a Chimney Sweep?
It is commonly agreed that the best time to hire a chimney sweep is in September. The logic behind this argument is simple. Your chimney will get the most use during the winter months, so it's best that your chimney inspection should take place during the burning season, just before it starts to get cold. This will ensure more effective use of your fireplace or stove.
Will a Local Chimney Sweep Near Me Do a Good Job?
Yes. If you hire a fully licensed chimney sweep, they will have a special camera, a professional chimney sweep brush, and other specialist cleaning equipment that’s designed to clean out your chimney appropriately.
Professional and experienced chimney cleaning services usually work from the bottom up, so soot and creosote will be released through the chimney caps. And industry sheets will be applied to ensure that no mess is made in your living room.
Where Can I Find Qualified Chimney Sweeps Near Me?
To find a HETAS approved chimney sweep near you, simply go to the HETAS’ official licensed chimney sweep finder site and enter your postcode. While anyone can theoretically offer chimney sweeping services online, most real professionals will have a license from an organisation like HETAS.
How Much Does Chimney Sweeping Cost in 2022?
In most parts of the UK, you can expect to pay a local HETAS certified chimney sweep between £50 and £85 for a basic sweep of the flue. If you live in London, you may expect to pay your chimney sweep between £80 and £110.
This is the base cost of the sweep. Removing blockages, appliance health checks with CCTV, and performing other maintenance work will cost extra.
How Long Does a Chimney Sweep Take?
If your chimney is in good repair, the cleaning of your flue will take under an hour. However, if your chimney needs repairs, the process can take up to several hours.
Fun Fact: Why Are Chimney Sweeps Lucky?
According to legend, in 1066, King William was saved by a chimney sweep who pushed him away from an oncoming carriage. The King was so grateful to the chimney sweep that he invited him to his daughter’s wedding. From then on, chimney sweeps began associated with good luck. It is considered to be an incredibly good omen if a bride sees a chimney sweep on her wedding day.