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Who do I get in to check that I can have fires?

(21 Posts)
AndShesGone Thu 26-Jan-17 16:42:41

I've got 5 fireplaces in my new place. I have NO idea if the chimney is in good nick or they're usable.

Can I just get a sweep in?

Or is there someone more suitable I could call?

The house has been refurbished (not well, looks cosmetic to me) and they've carpeted right up to the fireplaces as if they're not to be used.

PunjanaTea Thu 26-Jan-17 16:48:03

Chimney sweep.

Although if they are carpeted all the way up to the grate you would need to reinstate the hearth.

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 16:57:05

I think a sweep too - you could call a local fireplace company and ask their advice/anyone they can recommend as I imagine they have this all the time.

They will need to do a smoke test (basically put something burning into the fireplace and check the smoke goes up rather than back into the room...)

You will also need to have some kind of ventilation in each room (air brick or similar) to reduce CO risk

AndShesGone Thu 26-Jan-17 16:57:56

So a sweep will know if it can be used? Can they do repairs if needed or do they just sweep?

AndShesGone Thu 26-Jan-17 16:59:54

You don't need air bricks if you have a chimney do you?

We had air bricks and vents installed in our last place when we installed a wood burner. But that was to new specs. I don't think I've seen air bricks in Georgian terraces confused- but I might be wrong ?

GinAndOnIt Thu 26-Jan-17 17:05:50

Our sweep does repairs/fits new fireplaces so assume they do everything.

I think you only need air bricks for higher than 5kw output, but I might be wrong!

savagehk Thu 26-Jan-17 17:08:51

You'll also need to check if you're allowed to burn stuff, we're in a low smoke area so aren't allowed to. Personally I've looked into the air quality issues and despite finding a wood burner very attractive I'm not going to install one any more.

AndShesGone Thu 26-Jan-17 17:15:17

Yes we would only be allowed to burn smokeless fuel as it's a smoke control area

AndShesGone Thu 26-Jan-17 17:17:07

Oh I forgot - I can only burn fuel in a wood burner in my area, not domestic chimney.

Dammit. Need to get a wood burner then.

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 17:23:46

IS it a smoke control area? If so I think you could burn smokeless fuel in your normal fireplace?

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 17:24:26

Sorry didn't read properly. You are in a smoke control area. Why are you only allowed a wood burner?

AndShesGone Thu 26-Jan-17 17:29:53

Because you're only allowed to burn fuel in appliances like a wood burner - no smoke from domestic chimneys at all

thenewaveragebear1983 Thu 26-Jan-17 17:52:20

A wood burner would still produce smoke through the 'domestic chimney' - I think you need to confirm what is meant by that before you start.
A chimney sweep will look up the chimney with a mirror and see if it's lined/ safe to use and give you recommendations. He/she will also likely know straight away if you can actually burn fires in your area because if you can't you'll be their only customer! The sweep who we use for ours is really knowledgeable and gave us loads of info and recommendations.

ExplodedCloud Thu 26-Jan-17 17:57:03

Somebody HETAS (Heatas?) Registered is what you want I think.

AndShesGone Thu 26-Jan-17 18:17:42

thenewwave - you're allowed to produce smoke from wood burners (that's what they mean by appliances as they have an approved list of wood burners). I only know this because we had to get a list from our local authority in our last place.

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 18:24:34

Ah I see, my guess is it has to be a special kind of wood burner which captures smoke particles or something.

thenewaveragebear1983 Thu 26-Jan-17 18:34:45

Oh ok, that seems strange though- why would an approved burner produce different smoke to a non approved or open fire? Maybe they mean you can burn smokeless fuel in them? Do any of your neighbour's have burners, if so it might be more helpful to ask them what they have and what they needed to do to get them installed.
Everyone's got them by me (Worcestershire) we aren't in a smokeless zone!

AndShesGone Thu 26-Jan-17 18:40:53

It's because they're so efficient at burning they don't produce ash in the very little smoke.

There's no neighbours. I really wanted an open fire, wood burners are so expensive to have fitted in London (it will likely be about 4K)

minipie Thu 26-Jan-17 18:43:48

How about a gas fire? That's what we have (London too) and it's smokeless. It's not as warm, you have to be standing right by it to get heat, but lovely to look at the flames.

thenewaveragebear1983 Thu 26-Jan-17 19:53:01

Yes, we have inherited our burners with houses we have bought. Our current one is an 8.5kw beast of a thing, and yet it doesn't seem to have the 'hot' heat of a regular gas fire. Plus they are messy (not the fire as such, but the log basket, the coal and the ash all create mess)- I wouldn't put one into a house that didn't have one. And yes to the expense- it was 1300 just to have ours lined so god knows how much it would cost to install a new one!

If you like the idea of open fires but not the hassle, have you seen these biogel burners? They did have them in b&q but I imagine there's a whole specialist trade for them. They are like little fire grates that take canisters of gel/fuel and burn like a fire but no smoke, no mess. We nearly got an insert for our unused open fire in our old house but never got round to it.
If you decide not to use your chimneys, you can buy a chimney balloon which fills the chimney opening out of sight, so you don't get drafts down into your room (or bits of twig/debris/rain/ hail ) coming down into your room.

JT05 Fri 27-Jan-17 17:33:25

Get a sweep who is also HETAS registered, he will advise you on each chimney and whether any existing stoves are correctly installed.

We had an old wood burner removed and a new one installed, cost around £2500.

We also have an open fire in the sitting room, at the moment it's glowing away with smokeless fuel. Lovely on this cold winters day, not much ash to remove and worth any effort.

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