They look great! A wood burning stove in your living room is an attractive focal point – and perfect for sitting around on those cold winter nights. They also make a sound investment, adding to the value of your property. Shorter term they will save you money. Wood burning stoves cut up to 40% off of heating bills and can pay for themselves in 3-4 years.
As the stoves use a renewable energy source they are good for the environment, and dry wood is one of the cheapest heating fuels. You’ll be helping your local economy along by buying logs – or perhaps you can even grow or source your own wood for free!
Don’t worry if you live in a smoke control area. We have a large range of DEFRA approved stoves that are perfectly ok for smokeless zones.
When fitting a wood burning stove it is likely that we will need to carry out chimney re-lining on your property first. Stoves legally require an efficiency rating of 65% or higher, which ensures that the chimney will safely take up flue gasses and exhaust materials. We will carry out a thorough inspection to see if flue lining or flue relining is required.
All that’s left is to find yourself a supply of wood! Garden centres, tree surgeons… There are countless specialist wood fuel suppliers around. If you want to go for reclaimed sources then joinery firms will have plenty of offcuts that only get thrown away otherwise.
And choose logs that have been seasoned for at least two years. They have a lower moisture content so prove more efficient and give a higher heat output. They also produce very little smoke and help reduce the build-up of tar in the flue.
Interested so far? Please get in touch if you’re… warming to the idea.
Short answer: annually.
It’s common for people to only book a chimney sweep when they have a new appliance fitted or when a problem develops. Chimneys can go un-swept for years. Unsurprisingly, this means that it’s also common for chimney sweeps to find problems in the chimneys they are called to!
It’s not just about the about the sweeping – when a chimney sweep inspects your chimney they will also perform a smoke test to check its integrity. They will look for damage and wear and tear issues that can affect the chimney’s performance and even make them dangerous to use.
If chimneys are completely blocked with birds’ nests or broken material from the roof this will prevent flue gasses from escaping. A lack of updraught resulting from a partial blockage will reduce the chimney’s ability to draw smoke up from the fire. Dislodged material can also damage the flue lining, so a chimney sweep will also check to see if you will need chimney re-lining.
A build-up of tar and soot can reduce the efficiency of the chimney, and over time these deposits will break down the chimney lining and seep into internal or external walls, causing staining. These build-ups are flammable – they can ignite and cause chimney fires which will undermine the integrity of the chimney and can necessitate costly building work.
Other serious problems can be identified by regular chimney sweeping. For instance if there is smoke leaking into the home with a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning (any combustion produces this, not just gas).
In short, booking a chimney sweep annually will reduce wear and tear on your chimney and flue, sort out any blockages or efficiency issues, and identify any problems with the chimney or chimney lining early on, before they turn into costly repairs.
Although the words are often used interchangeably, a chimney and flue are different things. The chimney is the supporting structure (what you can see on a house) and contains the flue. The flue is the interior channel that carries the products of combustion up to roof level and releases them into the atmosphere. The flue should be lined to prevent smoke or chemicals leaking through the fabric of the chimney and into the house or walls.
For homeowners needing chimney re-lining services, there are various types of flue and chimney lining available.
Modern houses tend to be built with clay liners. Clay lining is the most traditional, and is popular because it is a very cost effective method. The tiles tend to last around 50 years, after which deterioration in the mortar joints and damage to the tiles can cause leakage of flue gasses. However, it isn’t as easy to use clay tiles for chimney relining as the process requires holes to be cut through the brickwork of the chimney to access and replace the older tiles.
Stainless steel liners can be rigid or flexible, single or double skinned. They are a more expensive option, but one that usually comes with a lifetime guarantee. The advantage of a flexible stainless steel lining is that it can be passed down from the rooftop in one piece – right through the chimney and into the fireplace opening.
Ceramic lining can come in rigid sections or as a layer that is sprayed on the inside of the flue. The spray option builds up a layer thick enough to protect the chimney but thin enough to ensure a good updraught in the flue. Ceramic liners are capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to heat and are protected from the corrosion that the products of combustion can cause.
Each lining material has its pros and cons, and ultimately which is most suitable will depend on the flue and property in question. Embers will carry out a thorough inspection of your flue and home to decide which method of chimney lining will be the most effective.
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