The problems

Chimneys can be lovely things (they allow you to safely have the comfort of a fire within your house) but they are not without their own problems. We thought you might find it useful to know what problems you can run into with a chimney and how you solve them.

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How often should my chimney be cleaned?

These are the recommended minimum intervals between cleaning and should be treated as such. Usage and type of fuel* will also influence the intervals between cleaning. If unsure then please ask when we clean your appliance and we will be glad to advise. If usage is high we will usually state on your Certificate the time we recommend between cleaning.

  • Smokeless fuels At least once a year
  • Coal At least twice a year
  • Wood At least quarterly when in use
  • Gas Once a year

* Wood with a moisture content higher than 20% do not burn efficiently.

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How can I identify the problem?

We have provided a list of potential problems, their probable cause, and how to resolve the issue below:

Problem Probable reason Remedy
Smoke enters room when door is shut Lack of ventilation Open door or window. Long term, have airbrick or vent fitted
Fire puffs depending on wind direction Downdraught problem Various. Call us for advice
Fire smokes continuously depending on wind direction Downdraught problem due to pressure zone Various. Call us for advice
Chimney has been swept and has now started smoking Dislodged mortar/brick/mid-feathers brick May require re-lining. CCTV inspection should solve the mystery and show what remedial work is required
Fireplace smokes even on windy days Flue size incorrect, blockage Various. Contact us for advice
Strong smell of smoke in bedrooms when fire it used on ground floor Cracks in mortar of chimney Re-point or re-line dependant on location of problem
Birds nest in chimney Lack of suitable nest sites Fit bird cowl
Wood burner smokes during cold weather Cold air trapped in flue Use more paper and kindling when starting the fire to heat flue quickly to increase draw
Furniture and walls covered in soot Bird dropped down chimney Find the bird and set free please
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