Picture the scene. The outside temperatures have dropped quite significantly, ice is forming into every nook and cranny of your garden.
Maybe there’s a touch of snow in the air. Naturally, you want to light your fire.
So you go to collect your fuel, gather some kindling and strike a match.
And within seconds the smoke which should be going up the chimney is instead filling your living room.
But why has this happened?
Now, there could be a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the chimney may be BLOCKED with nesting materials or debris. In that case you should get in a qualified, professional chimney sweep to check your chimney.
But more often than not, if your chimney has been swept within the past few months, the chimney is probably blocked with something entirely different – cold air.
And a cold chimney simply won’t ‘draw’ smoke away from the fire.
The problem usually stems from the traditional way of lighting a fire.
It usually goes something like this.
– Small kindling and newspaper. Set alight.
– After a few minutes, thrown some logs or coal on top
The problem with this is it’s smothering a very small, cool fire with fuel which needs a heck of a lot more heat to catch fire.
So instead of catching fire, it just smoulders and causes smoke. And because smoke is cool, it isn’t hot enough to ‘break’ the cold plug in the chimney. Hence why it simply starts falling back down into the fireplace subsequently into your living room.
The video below, taken by fellow sweep Dave Cole, who covers the Halesowen area of the West Midlands, shows a CCTV inspection revealing a flue blocked with cold air. You can see the air swirling around, and struggling the draw upwards.
The problem can affect all flues, but the following are particularly susceptible:
– Factory made twin wall insulated chimney systems
– Short chimneys
– Chimneys on the gable end of a property
– Clay lined chimneys
– Chimneys in rural/exposed locations
– Chimneys which haven’t been in use for quite a while
Thankfully, there’s a better way to start a fire which not only gets the fire hotter quicker, but it also ‘breaks’ the cold plug, produces much less smoke and actually stops you wasting your fuel (and therefore money).
To find out, simply click on the video below…
Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a fully qualified sweep and a member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps based in the Manchester and South Lancs area