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Chimney Sweeping FAQs

Why do I need to have my chimney/flue swept?

Chimneys need to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning will increase the efficiency of some appliances. Bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages will be removed.

How often does my chimney need sweeping?

The sweeping frequencies below are for guidance. Frequency will depend on a number of factors including: Type of fuel, appliance used, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, type of chimney. Your Guild sweep will be able to advise on sweeping frequency during the appointment, the sweeping frequencies below are for guidance.

Smokeless fuel At least once a year
Wood: Quarterly when in use
Bituminous coal: Quarterly when in use
Oil: Once a year
Gas: Once a year

Does it make mess?

This is a very good question. The answer should be - very rarely. East Coast Flues are able to draw on the collective knowledge of the whole organisation and have a number of best practice techniques for preventing dust escapes. A rare exception may be when the chimney is blocked with a bird’s nest when it is sometimes difficult to contain all dust.

What should I do to prepare for our visit?

In general we would ask for a clear passage to the chimney and adequate space to work in. Clear ornaments from the hearth and perhaps from the mantelpiece. It would be helpful for us if you could clear the grate of any fuel / ash / rubbish as this would save us time and hopefully reduce the amount of mess that is produced.

Do I need to have my gas/oil flues swept?

Yes. Although burning these fuels does not normally deposit soot there are numerous other problems which can affect chimney function and sweeping can solve or identify these.

Why do I need to see the brush out the top of the chimney?

To demonstrate to you that the flue has been swept throughout its length, and that the sweep has done his work properly.

How much does it cost to have my chimney swept?

This depends on the type of stove or fireplace. As a general rule, we charge £50.00 per sweep. Should we discover problems with the chimney or liner then costs may differ to this. A good example of this is if a chimney is blocked with a birds nest or we discover a serious tar build up, then cost will differ. The other exception of this is an inglenook fireplace with no liner which would be charged at £65.00

How long does a sweep take?

A standard weep can take around an hour to complete. If the sweep is of an inglenook with no liner then expect this to take up to 2 hours to complete.

I’ve just moved house – do I need to have my chimney cleaned?

We would certainly recommend this and also regular sweeps to keep your chimney in good health.

How often should i have my chimney/liner swept?

We recommend that if your stove or fireplace is used consistently then you should have your chimney/liner swept every quarter. If your stove or fireplace is used for the winter period then we recommend having it swept at the end of the season in readiness for the next winter period.

What is the best fuel to use?

For certain appliances, there is a recommended fuel, and this is the one you should use. In appliances where there are no such requirements, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. As a general fuel we recommend wood. It is clean, gives good heat and is carbon neutral. However, at the end of the day, some people don’t get on with wood and find coal suits them better. If you are looking at coal, find your local approved coal merchant who will have the expert knowledge to guide you.

Why do I need to sweep a chimney before it is closed off?

If a chimney is closed off, it can get a bit damp. If there is any soot up there, then this soot can turn to a black acidic slurry that in an old chimney can soak into the internal walls causing severe problems. If bad enough, this damp can penetrate through to the room where it will cause unpleasant stains on the walls.

Why are there smoke marks just above the fireplace?

This is because smoke is leaking back into the room. Contact us for further advice on this.

A bird has come down my chimney, how do I stop this from happening again?

Contact East Coast Flues for further advice when we will be able to advise you on a suitable terminal/guard for your chimney.

What size stove do i need?

Enter the dimensions of your room into our calculator below to see what size stove we recommend for your room.

PLEASE NOTE: This is to be used as a guide. We strongly recommend a site visit by East Coast Flues in order to give a more accurate recommendation.


  • fantastic staff, friendly, great prices good local business

    Emma Crazyface Harvey

  • Excellent work, helpful advice, great staff and a great price. Woodburner ready to use immediately, no mess to clean up, lovely and toasty now, highly recommended

    Nick Ajose

  • Wud def recommend this company. Friendly & efficient, helpful & professional. We r so plsd wiv r new woodburner. Cant thank u enough

    Sarah Mitchell

  • Lovely friendly lads....good job well done..many thanks

    Jayne Hench-witch Tasker

  • had a stove fitted by East Coast Flues and am very pleased with the result. They were very friendly and professional. They were also very tidy in their work and left no mess and to top it off it saves me money on my heating bill! A fantastic company. I would recommend them to everyone.

    Jessica Clark

  • East Coast Flues installed an AGA Little Wenlock Classic into my Bungalow today. Both Richard and Adrian we prompt, polite, courteous and above all, clean in their work. My wife was expecting a mess to clean up but it was probably cleaner after they left than it was before they arrived!! We chose East Coast Flues for our installation as we found that Richard understood his job, offered good sound advice and was extremely personable. He took the time to explain everything to us and even advise us on the little things we didn't even consider. I would not hesitate in recommending East Coast Flues to anyone who is looking to have a wood burner installed. I have attached a photo of the final install, its better than we had imagined it would be, we can't wait for the cold weather to start it up now!

    Keith Riches

  • Richard explained all of the wood burner options available and carried out the installation work in a clean and courteous manner. Once the installation was complete he took time to explain the instructions for usage, safety and warranties for both the wood burner and flue lining. I would highly recommend.

    Susanne Hand, Lowestoft