There are three main reasons for aiming to get your chimney swept regularly:
Breathing in fumes from solid fuel or gas fires can damage your health; in the worst-case scenario, doing so could be fatal. Getting your chimney swept will help to ensure that the flue is clear enough to let any dangerous fumes make their way safely out of the chimney.
Chimney fires are a risk if you fail to keep your chimney maintained to a high standard, but committing to a once-yearly clean will dramatically reduce the risk of experiencing a chimney fire. A fire of this type can vary in severity, from damaging your chimney pot to your home burning down. While uncommon, severe fires do happen; however, they are easily avoided.
Every time you use your fire, soot will inevitable accumulate in the chimney; over time, this will reduce the area of the flue, which will affect the draw and mean that you risk smoke entering the room. This can damage the fireplace and surround, and even the decor of the room, in addition to being an irritant to those breathing it in.
Many people want to know how often they should get their chimney swept. The answer to this question is generally dependent on how often the fire is used and what sort of fuel you use. If you only light your fire or use your wood burner occasionally, a once-yearly clean should suffice; however, if you rely on your fire more often, you should think about going for a biannual clean - once before the first fire of the autumn and then around half-way through the winter season.
Always check that your chimney sweep is properly registered and ensure that they provide you with the necessary paperwork once they have finished the inspection and sweep of your chimney. You should keep this in case of any queries or problems later down the line.
Do I need to get my chimney swept if I have a gas fire?
You will need to get any gas appliances in your home regularly serviced by a Gas Safe engineer, which should normally be on a yearly basis. A service on a gas fire will typically involve the engineer checking the chimney’s draw; if they are concerned, you will be advised to get your chimney swept.