With the Summer in full swing, it can be easy to forget that the really cold weather will set in sooner than we would like. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to organise your annual chimney sweep and stove maintenance. Having your chimney swept regularly is essential to keep your family and home safe, so booking a professional to sweep your chimney is a sound investment. When it comes to stove maintenance, you can either hire a professional or service your own appliance.
Making sure that your chimney is pulling air efficiently is important. The sweep, or chimney sweeping technician, will clear all blockages such as loose bricks and birds nests from your chimney or flue liner and remove any tar that has built up. Tar build up is one of the most common causes of chimney fires. Burning unseasoned or green wood leaves residues in your chimney or flue liner which can be ignited by a spark or extreme heat. Keeping the stove doors closed when burning fuel on a stove or using a fire guard where necessary will also stop sparks and embers from damaging your floor or causing a house fire. To see our product range from fire guards to companion sets, please click here.
Regular checks will also ensure that you are burning fuel efficiently, which could save you money on your fuel bills. If air flow in your chimney is restricted, you will have to burn more fuel than you usually need to generate the same heat. If you are seasoning your own wood to burn, click here to see our moisture metres for testing the dampness of your wood. If you have a multi-fuel stove, burning either wood or solid fuel and not a mixture of the two will also offer more fuel efficiency. If you would like to check that you are burning your fuel efficiently, please click here to see our stove thermometers. If you would like more information about our complete range of fuels, please contact us on 01745 822344.
There are a few important checks you should make regularly to ensure that you are maintaining your stove properly.
The fire rope provides a seal to prevent air from entering the stove and smoke from escaping. If there are any frays or splits in the rope then it will need to be replaced.
Next you should check the grate for any issues. If the grate is cracked or bent you will need to replace it.
Keep the baffle plate clean by removing and build up of tar or other deposits using a flue brush. Any signs of wear need to be checked and you should replace the plate if necessary.
Have a careful look at the firebricks. Any bricks that are cracked or crumbling need to be replaced as any exposed metal will damage your stove.
To discuss replacement parts, please contact us by clicking here or calling 01745822344.
Finally, always check the details of your stoves warranty and any home insurance policies that you hold. If you are paying for insurance, you need to make sure that you aren't invalidating your policy. Things to bear in mind are:
Did a professional fit your stove? Did you notify building control? Click here to visit our HETAS page for more information about building control.
Was your appliance fitted to the manufacturers specifications and guidelines and do you have the certification to prove this?
How often does your chimney need to be swept?
Are you burning the correct fuel?
Is there anything else you need to know?
By being prepared and thorough you will get the best out of your appliance and ensure that it will be a valuable asset to your home. With estate agents estimating that a quality appliance can add up to 5% to the value of your home, your stove could be paying for itself for years to come.
To find a NACS (National Association of Chimney Sweeps) approved sweep, please click here. For more advice about which wood-burning or multi-fuel stove is right for you, come and visit us at North Wales Stoves. We also offer a HETAS Certified installation service where required. Please click here for more information.