Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary?

Can anyone sweep a chimney?

Will you be clean and careful?

Which fuels should I burn?

  • No. Only burn seasoned logs in your fire. This is very important. Seasoned logs are logs that have been outside in the elements for at least 1 year. They should then be stored outside for a further year under cover. Seasoning your logs will help you get the best possible results from your fuel. It will also help with the reduction of tar and creosote forming in your chimney.

  • Fact is it does not matter too much. As long as the wood is seasoned and dry either is fine. Hardwood tends to burn longer than soft wood and “spits” less. Softwood has a higher resin content therefore can “spit” more.

  • If you have stored your logs under cover they should be dry enough to burn, however you can buy a moisture tester for about £20.

  • Word of mouth is the best advice for this, ask around. Local established tree surgeons tend to be able to supply good quality logs. Always ask for seasoned logs.


  • No.  In 99.9% of homes stoves/wood burners can be installed without the need for a traditional chimney. We can use a system call Twin Wall, which does the same job as a chimney. It also means you have more options of where you can locate your fire.

  • Open fires are just not efficient. In most cases for every £1 spent on fuel 0.80p goes directly out of the home.

    With log burners the opposite is true. Every £1 spent on fuel will give you 0.80p of direct heat. It is THE BEST way to heat your home.

  • Yes, in most cases a correctly installed appliance will reduce your fuel bills. I am proud to say all of my customers save at least 50 % on their gas bills by using the stove on a regular basis and sometimes even more.

  • Yes.  A working fireplace is something estate agents comment on.  A quality, professionally installed log burner, can help to sell the property, but can actually add to the property’s value as it is classed as a home improvement, and a heating upgrade.

  • Yes.   However, unless you are a HETAS registered engineer your installation will not be insured and if anything goes wrong you will not be insured. I often ask people “would you install your own gas boiler?”

  • No.  This is my most often asked question. I am sure your builder is competent and good at what he does. However, unless he is a qualified HETAS engineer, he is should not install your burner.  It could result in you having to pay again to have your stove re-installed by a HETAS engineer.  The regulations are updated on a regular basis and a HETAS engineer is required to attend regular training events to ensure that they are fully aware of any modifications and updates regarding the installation of wood burning stoves.  If your stove has not been certified by a HETAS , then it is unlikely to be covered by your house insurance.

  • No.  They will not have the expertise to do so. They may ask a HETAS engineer for an opinion, however you will not get a full certificate. This may mean you could lose value on your home, as the buyer may not trust the installation. (Would you?)

  • No, provided you use a HETAS qualified engineer, your installation will be safe insured and certified.

  • You must have your chimney swept annually. If you use coal in your burner it is recommended that you have it swept every 3 months during the “burning season”

  • Yes homes built before the 1960s will always need a liner. This is due to the flue being built only 1 brick wide. Over time the mortar between the bricks disintegrates leaving holes and gaps. Modern stoves put an enormous amount of heat through the chimney, without a liner in place this hot gas can leak through the chimney into the home. They must be lined.

  • It’s not compulsory.  However if you want your stove to work better, last longer, and get up to heat in moments, with maximum efficiency then you should consider lining your chimney.

  • Lining your chimney does several things. Firstly it creates an additional safety barrier inside your chimney. This means the chimney gets warmer quicker. Once your chimney is warm your stove gets the heat into the room quicker. This means your fuel bills are reduced even further.  We often attend homes with pot lined chimneys only to find that they are not fixed in place and can easily be lifted apart. Having a liner will mean that hot flue gas cannot get into the home.  It is much safer and cost efficient to have your chimney lined

  • Yes, the liner means that you will have less surface area to heat up. Also because they are made from stainless steel they get up to heat much quicker, this in turn means the log burner warms the room faster.

  • We use vermiculite insulation on all of our installations. This material packs around the liner. It keeps the flue warm and safe. It also helps provide additional heat throughout the home. This helps the rooms above the chimney breast achieve additional warmth. It also means the chance of having a chimney fire is greatly reduced.

  • This prevents rain getting inside the flue and making the stove rust. It also stops birds form getting inside the liner. This can be a distressing event for both the home owner and the bird.

  • YES YOU DO.  Log and multi fuel burners produce much more carbon monoxide that gas boilers. Coal and wood are pure carbon. Having an audible alarm fitted correctly is a must.

    * Always test your alarm.

    * Never leave your alarm below the appliance.

    A HETAS engineer will provide advice and guidance and install your alarm.

  • The hearth is very important. This is the area your stove stands on.   If a log or piece of coal should fall from the fire of burner, it should land on a safe, non- combustible surface. This means if the appliance is left unattended, any fallen embers will burn away without causing fire or damage to your home. The provision of a hearth is also a HETAS requirement.  

Hopefully you have found my FAQs helpful and informative.   I am passionate about doing the job correctly.  At Mr Sweep we are always pushing ourselves to provide you with the best possible result for your budget. Our work and reputation speaks for itself. This is why most of our work comes from recommendations and word of mouth.

If you feel we are the sort of small independent company you would like to deal with please give us a call. We will be happy to chat and help with any questions you may have. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Keep safe and warm

Contact Details

Name: Chris Byrne

New showroom at – Rettendon Common, Essex, CM3 8EW

Phone: 01245 400370


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