Debunking The Myths About Chimney Sweeping
Chimney sweeping has seen a revival over the last few years, with more and more people installing solid fuel burning fireplaces. With this, however, comes some myths about the chimney sweeping trade that range from the silly to the serious. We have compiled some of the most common myths from the industry.
MYTH or FACT? I don’t need my chimney swept because I don’t use an open fire
Myth: While it might seem strange to have your chimney swept if you don’t have smoke going up it, you would be unwise to neglect any chimney. Even without any kind of use – an electric or gas fire still counts as use – then you should have your chimney checked out once a year. You might be surprised as to how much debris can fall into your chimney or how easily your stack can lose its structural integrity.
MYTH or FACT? Animals can get stuck in my chimney and die
Fact: It isn’t as harsh as it sounds actually, most animals which get stuck should be able to find their way out again with help. Some animals even get into your chimney on purpose, most of the time this is because your chimney is a dry, safe place for them to nest.
You should never try to smoke them out however as you won’t know whether they are trapped or have young incapable of leaving. Call in the RSPCA or make the chimney uninhabitable by shining light up the chimney or playing loud music up the stack. Alternatively, you can get advice from a professional chimney sweep.
MYTH or FACT? My lit fire makes my room colder!
Fact: There is a little bit of truth to this, and it’s mostly down to the science of how a fire works. For a fire to burn it needs oxygen as part of the formula, so a fire in your living room will generally use up the warmer oxygen readily available first. Once it has used this up it continues to need oxygen, the fire will then keep drawing in oxygen particles for this – they can come from anywhere and will generally be colder. This slight difference, if heavily felt, can be protected against by adding a fireback to your fireplace to help bounce the warm air back into the room rather than up the chimney.
MYTH or FACT? Different wood types will leave less build-up in my chimney
Myth: Of course, different woods will burn slightly differently, and while pine can contain more sap this will not result in more creosote building up in your chimney. University conducted studies in the US have indicated the creosote is a result of burning wood before it is ready – ideally you need to let the wood age and dry out a year before you use it.
MYTH or FACT? Every year on the 24th of December, Santa Claus climbs down your chimney to leave presents
Fact: Of course this is a fact! Though, sometimes Santa needs to find alternative access to leave you presents under the tree if you don’t have a chimney.
If you have any questions about the maintenance of your fireplace then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at London Chimney Sweeps.