In terms of efficiency, they aren’t very good. But open fires still grace thousands of living rooms right across the country.
Most heat from open fires goes straight up the chimney and the low burn rate can cause them to be smokey. For those reasons, I always recommend using approved smokeless fuel.
Firstly, it radiates much more heat that logs or housecoal, and unlike logs and housecoal, you can legally burn approved smokeless fuel it if you live in a Smoke Control Area (such as the whole of the Manchester City Council area and the vast majority of Stockport, St Helens, Salford, Trafford and about 50% of Wigan).
The problem is that smokeless fuel can be tricky to light. It requires a lot of heat to ‘catch’ – meaning a lot of people simply give up or revert to logs and housecoal. But it’s worth persevering with smokeless coal because, once lit, it gives the above benefits and is actually cheaper in terms of heat output per house.
This is why I’ve produced this handy ‘how to’ video, taking you through the process step by step.
Remember, every fireplace is different and even if you follow these instructions, your fireplace may not work for other reasons.
That’s why it’s important you should always seek the services of a professional chimney sweep if you’ve never lit your fire before.
Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a HETAS Approved Sweep, and member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, offering a professional and friendly chimney sweep and stove service. Book Mr Soot online or call 0800 0541154.