October 16 2013 Wednesday at 02:59 PM

General Use

Whatever the type of fire you have, from open fire through to the multi-fuel or log burners the feature they all have in common is the chimney. This most overlooked feature needs your attention! You should think about having regular inspections, especially when you move into a new property as you will not necessarily know when it has last been swept.

A chimney that has not been swept recently could cause a chimney fire or cause carbon monoxide poisoning. During the summertime debris such as leaves, paper, and birds nests can build up in chimney flues. This, on top of any existing soot residues, can have potential lethal effects.

It is imperative you clean chimneys before their first use and employ a professional specialist chimney sweep. A chimney should be inspected twice yearly. Costs vary depend on the scale and situation but It is advisable to use The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) registered chimney sweep. www.nacs.org.uk Click here to go to NACS


Rogue traders do exist, but HETAS and NACS both have directories of the qualified businesses who should be used for work on chimneys. The following guidelines come from NACS and are supported by most in the industry. Official NACS guidelines recommend: At least once a year if you are burning smokeless fuels. At least twice a year if you are burning bitumous coal. At least quarterly if you are burning wood.  If you don't follow the above advice you could face the horrors of a chimney fire.  Insurers also warn to clean your chimney regularly.

How to Get the Best from your Solid Fuel Appliance

Now you have found the easiest way to light your muti fuel stove or log burner and bought your Phoenix Electric Firelighter there are still a few pointers to remember

  • Don’t allow the ash to build up to the firebars and touch them – they will burn away. Remove the ash regularly. 
  • Use the riddling device and a poker to clear ash and clinker that collects above the firebars. The appliance will not function efficiently if the grate is clogged. 
  • Glass doors on appliances are easily cleaned by opening the door, allowing it to cool and wiping clean with a warm damp cloth.
  • When the room is unoccupied, use a firescreen and/or a spark guard with an open fire.
  • A firescreen should always be used if children are in the room.
  • Do not apply excessive draught stripping to doors and windows, or block air vents – solid fuel appliances and chimneys need a supply of air to function properly.
  • Whilst wood burning  and multi-fuel stoves are robust appliances you should have the appliance checked and serviced annually by a qualified heating engineer to maintain efficiency and maintain safe operation.
  • Do not burn household waste – such as plastic or metal. These emit harmful gases or can explode from the fire when hot.