August Blog Posting
Over the past weeks we have spent a lot of time sweeping in Lamberhurst, Westerham, Hildenborough and many other areas in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Medway. Last Friday morning saw us battling through the traffic to do a very early morning multi-pull sweep in Stone Street, Sevenoaks. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the residents of the house we disturbed when we wrongly pulled the bell lever on their door by mistake. You were very kind in the way you handled our error and many thanks for taking our business card due to the fact your previous sweep had retired. We look forward to seeing you in the very near future.
We get asked a lot of times about the frequency of having your chimneys swept and what type of fuels to use. We also get asked about the benefits of Stoves opposed to the traditional Open Fire. Addressing the frequency of sweeping we recommend that if you are using your stove or open fire occasionally, the odd evening and maybe a Sunday afternoon, we recommend that once yearly is usually suffice. If you are burning on a more frequent basis and using either Wood or House Coal as fuel twice yearly or more is recommended.
As for the benefits of Stoves against Open Fires it really depends on what you require of them. If you wish to have an appliance from which to produce heat to warm large parts of your home a Wood or Multi fuel Stove is a fantastic option. Not only does it become an attractive centre point in any room it will, when alight for an hour or so, be heating not only the room it is in but other parts of your home as well. Some Stoves have boilers fitted and these will provide hot water for heating the whole house.
The pictures below show our old open fire in the sitting room. This produced enough heat after an hour or so to warm that part of the house only. Whilst giving us some heat it was more usually lit to give us a visual effect on the odd evening and some weekends. Approximately 85% of the heat it produced was sucked up the chimney flue.
Last December we had a stove installed. It is a 5kw Little Thurlow and is manufactured by the Town and Country Group. Being 5kw it did not need to be vented via an external air flow into the room, although we chose to have this done. Having been brought up on a farm where Stoves and AGA’s were common place I preferred to have an external air supply. Also although my chimney flue was in A1 condition I also had a 904/904 Stainless Steel Flexible Liner connected to the Stove. Having a liner fitted, in my opinion, makes sure that the Stove can work to its optimum performance level. These liners have a 20 year plus guaranteed life Span provided they are properly swept and maintained. Not having a Liner installed is, in my opinion, a bit like buying a new vehicle which has a hole in the exhaust, it will run but not as good as it should. Whilst our stove is a multi-fuel we only burn wood which has been dried and seasoned for two years or more. Also by burning wood you will reduce your impact on the environment as it is carbon neutral. Now the best bit, remember the 85% of heat we lost up our chimney when using the open fire, well that heat loss is now being pushed out into our house!!
If you live in a Smoke Controlled Area make sure your Stove is also DEFRA approved.
Part J of building regs and HETAS state that Stoves of 5kw’s or below do not generally require an external air supply.
For more help and advice please do not hesitate to contact me direct.
Kind regards and all the best Clive @ Clive Scott Chimney Sweeps.