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Top Tips for Optimum Fireplace Performance

Your fireplace should be a thing of beauty and offer you comfort in your home.  However if issues arise with the fireplace or chimney it can become a nuisance and for a lot of people they fear that it may be expensive.  This is often not the case.  There are several ways in which the performance of you chimney can be improved and enhanced with out it costing an inordinate amount of money.

Here we have gathered a few tips for different, but common problems which persist in annoying home owners when it comes to their chimney. We urge you to give a few of these a try (using caution!) before opting for the more drastic measures.

Too much smoke and not enough heat

The drier the wood the more heat will be given off.  It is recommended that any logs you burn be seasoned (left to dry out) for at least two years.  When ever you burn wood the water burns off first, so the less water in the log, the better as it will take longer to burn and give off a lot more heat.  It will create less smoke and will leave less residue in the flue.  A build up of residue including creosote increases the chances of fires in your flue.  Although it is highly recommended to have your flue swept regularly even if you are optimising your efficiency by burning the best quality seasoned wood.  Never burn anything in your fire that is not safe and suitable.  If in any doubt check before you throw it on your fire.

The flue isn’t drawing air and smoke upwards

Usually it is the job of your chimney flue to suck up the smoke out of your house and leave as much warm air in your room as possible. A common problem for many home owners though is a flue which doesn’t draw efficiently, leaving some smoke to linger in the room. There are even cases where smoke is completely locked into a room, but in either situation it is worth looking into as smoke in the home is dangerous for your health.

A problem of this nature, whether severe or just not, probably means you have a blockage. If you’re using your fireplace after a long period of it being dormant then you may find animals have taken nest inside or debris has fallen into the chimney.   Have your chimney swept regularly. If you have smoke in your room – get your chimney swept as soon as possible even if it is not yet due for another sweep.

Small room, large fire – resulting in smoke collection

When people think about keeping warm they don’t always think about fresh air. Whether it’s because you’re room is too small or because your fireplace is too large, the smoke can collect in your room if you do not have adequate ventilation.  Having a simple wall or floor vent fitted can help eliminate smoke build up in your room, improving both the quality of your fire and your health.  Opening a window when you first light your fire may help eliminate initial smog and smoke but if not sure get a professional chimney sweep or fireplace installer to check your ventilation.

There’s a draft coming down the chimney regardless of the fire

Here in the UK we are famous for our unpredictable weather, one day its shorts and T-shirts the next its jumpers and woolly hats.  The strong winds we often get at certain time of the years can cause problems with draughts. If it is becoming a regular problem there is always the option of fitting a universal guard or anti-down draft terminal to the chimney pot.  These help restrict the draughts, falling debris and birds. Equally, if your chimney is old, it could well be due some TLC and repair work.

Whatever the reason you will want to put a stop to the drafts and chills – it can cost you more in energy bills and put you in great discomfort at a moment’s notice so is worth solving.

If you have any further questions about your chimney or you aren’t sure what the problem is then it’s always best to call in the professionals. At London Chimney Sweeps we have a wealth of experience and are trained sweeps, we make it our aim to get your chimney working as efficiently as possible.



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