Below is a small selection of questions I often get asked.
How often should I get my chimney swept?
This is a regular question that I get asked. Broadly speaking it depends on use and what fuel is used.
Wood = Once/Twice a year (depends on use)
Coal = At least Twice a year
Oil = Once a year
Gas = Once a year
Smokeless Fuels = Once a year
Why get my Chimney Swept?
The main job of a Chimney Sweep is to prevent chimney fires and to stop poisonous monoxide gases from building up in the chimney flue. To do this a chimney sweep needs to remove the build-up of creosote. A professional sweep should be used. Chimney sweeps should be registered members of a Professional organisation like the ICS (Institute of Chimney Sweeps). As such they can issue a certificate of sweeping that can be provided to your insurance company.
One of the best analogies I can use for getting in a chimney sweep is that its like going to visit a dentist! You get a sweep in regularly to clean your chimney flue thus insuring that everything is clean, working properly and that they can catch any future problems before that can become a real problem.
Remember that a clean chimney flue is not only a safe chimney flue, it also helps your appliance burn cleaner and more efficiently, thus saving you money!
Is my insurance invalid if I don’t get a registered chimney sweep?
If for some reason you needed to make a claim on your insurance, because of a fault with your chimney and your insurance company discover you have not used a registered chimney sweep, you may well find that they will not honour your claim!
Is my insurance invalid if I don’t get my chimney cleaned on a regular basis?
If you were to have a chimney fire and your insurance company find that you have not had your chimney flue swept the required amount appropriate to your appliance and the type of fuel you use then yes, you will in all likelihood find your insurance invalid and no payment to be made!
I have a thatched cottage
Most insurance companyies that cover thatched properties require that your chimney must be swept at least twice a year. Usually this means having it done at the start of the burning season and at the very end. Many insurance companies will also stipulate what appliance you can and cannot use and what type of fuel, lining and cowl is required for your property! If in any doubt contact them to get the appropriate information that is required.
disclaimer: all answers are given in good faith, but you must seek advice from your insurance company who will advise you on their policy specifics.