The tale of Home Fires

New Chimney Sweep Reminder Service

27 - 02 - 17

As we all lead busy lives it is easy to forget the little things. To take one of those little things off your mind we have launched our email reminder service for chimney sweeping. All you have to do is sign up with your email address and we will send you one email in the spring at the end of the heating season and one email in the autumn before the next heating season begins just in case. Our email will prompt you to give us a call and arrange for us to come and sweep your chimney so that everything is ready for when the first cold snap bites and winter approaches. It is really easy to sign up. You can use the form on our 'Contact' page or of course if there is anything else we can help you with, please do not hesitate to let us know on 01392 210829/ 07851278344 or email us on [email protected]

Running your stove overnight?- Things to know and do

17 - 02 - 17

When you run your stove overnight and turn down the air vents, this causes the fire to burn slower and reduces the heat generated. This significantly affects the secondary burn of particulates and gasses which are much more likely to stick to the wall of the chimney or liner. If this is not cleaned and cleared regularly it will cause a blockage, increasing the risk of a chimney fire and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are burning your stove overnight in ‘slumber’ mode you must: Make sure that your stove is designed to do so – check the manual. Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarm fitted. Run the stove at maximum output (dry fuel, air vents fully open, vigorous flames) for at least 30 minutes in the morning to burn off any deposits. Remove and clean the baffle plate monthly. Have you chimney swept at least every 3 months when in use. If you have any questions, need a sweep or service don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 01392 210829 / 07851 278344 or email us [email protected]

The right advice is more important than the sale

13 - 02 - 17

This might seem like an odd statement to make but we had an enquiry late last year from a customer who was looking for a wood or multi-fuel stove to go in their new log cabin so they could enjoy it all year around. Obviously, we were keen to get the work, keep the customer and sell a new stove, chimney system and installation but as the cabin is only approximately 30mõ and well insulated it would only need a small amount of heat to maintain comfortable temperature. Not many appliances can burn efficiently at such a low output so they would more than likely find they were too hot. We didn’t think that this was the experience they were looking for. Our recommendation was a bio-ethanol stove. Low cost, no need for a chimney, heats up quickly and perfect for occasional use. We turned a £2000 enquiry into a £350 sale but gave the right advice to a customer who is so happy that they tell everyone they meet and we have had several referrals. The right advice is more important than the sale! If you want the right advice before making a decision about a wood or multi-fuel stove then please give us a call on 01392 210829, 07851 278344 or email us [email protected]

Stove Hints- 5 things you must do now

26 - 05 - 16

Rather than leave your stove full of ash over the summer, follow our five step guide to reduce the risk of damage that can occur when the stove is not in use. Get the chimney swept – this can reduce the odour and prolong the life of liner as the air flow reverses and moisture condenses on the cold metal surface. Remove the insides of the stove: fire bricks; ash pan; baffle plate; ridding grate; etc., clean and leave them out of the stove – this will alleviate the risk of corrosive agents in ash, soot and tar. Remove any ash or detritus from the inside of the stove. Spray any moving metal parts, controls, door handles, etc. with WD40 or similar. Work them and leave them open. Check the door rope and glass seals and replace if necessary – an air tight seal is vital for efficient operation of your stove. These five things will ensure that your stove is prepared for summer hibernation and ready to go as soon as you need it in the autumn. Of course we are more than happy to do this for you. For more information please see our Summer Promotion 2016. If you would like to book a chimney sweep and/or stove service please do not hesitate to contact us on 01392 210829 / 07851 278344 or email us [email protected]

Summer's Here- Time for a sweep and service!

26 - 05 - 16

Now is the time to get your chimney swept and your stove serviced! Contact us now to take advantage of our Summer Promotion; make sure your shove and chimney are safe and ready for use in the autumn and to avoid the rush at the beginning of winter! Call us on 01392 210829 / 07851 278344 or email us [email protected] to book. Summer Promotion 2016.

Stove Hints- Keeping your glass clean (part 1)

05 - 05 - 16

Sometimes it seems almost impossible to keep the glass clean on your stove but there are really only two main causes. If your fuel contains too much moisture then as it evaporates which can condense on the stove glass or in the upper reaches of the chimney. Apart from spoiling your view of the flames it can cause a blockage in your chimney, hence the need for regular chimney sweeping. With a simple meter you can check the moisture content of your firewood and avoid burning damp or wet wood. For an effective burn the moisture content of your firewood needs to be 20% or less – this is properly seasoned wood. Simply push the prongs of the meter into the middle of the split portion of the wood to test.If you’re interested in getting a moisture meter please contact us on 01392 210829 / 07851 278344 or email us at [email protected] Don’t forget to check back for the next installment on our blog!

5 Golden rules for running your stove

26 - 04 - 16

In my opinion these are five golden rules, but not the only rules, for running a wood burning, multi-fuel or pellet stove. Test your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms every week. Have your stove serviced and your chimney swept at the very least once a year. Use the right fuel(s) for your stove and liner. Read the stove operating instructions to familiarise yourself with its control and use. If in doubt, call a professional. If you have any questions (no matter how small) about your stove, liner or anything solid fuel related then please do get in touch. You can call us: 01392 210829 / 07851 278344; email us [email protected] ; tweet us @home_fires or just stop me in the street and ask!

When the customer isn't always right- first time!

14 - 04 - 16

A couple of years ago I was contacted by a lady who was watching a 21kW stove on Ebay and wanted an idea of the cost to fit it. Brushing aside the potential issues with buying a second hand stove, I asked her how big the room she intended to put it in was. Although the room was only about 45cu.m, she had noted that her gas boiler was 21kW and she wanted the stove to heat the whole house. I impressed upon her the need for me to come and have a look and explained that if that stove were fitted it would likely be unbearably hot in the room and quite possibly a fire hazard. I visited, assessed and made my case. At a later date we fitted a 4kW stove and liner – with the right information she was able to make the right choice. We have just been asked to have a look at her new house with a view to fitting another stove. The right advice can save you a lot of time and money. If you would like some advice about fitting or maintaining a wood or multi-fuel stove, we will be only too happy to help. Please contact us on 01392 210829 / 07851 278344 or email us at [email protected]

Stove Hint- "My stove is running too fast!"

04 - 04 - 16

Just like the tyres on your car, the stove door rope may need replacing over time. With use, it flattens and can leave gaps for air to enter the firebox. As a consequence, the air controls become less effective. Here’s a tip to check your stove door rope – With the fire out, place a piece of ordinary A4 printing paper or similar between the door and the stove and shut the door. If you can pull the paper out with little effort then you probably need to replace the rope seals. Annual stove maintenance is as important as chimney sweeping. If you would like to discuss or book an annual stove check and sweep, please give us a call on 07851 278344, 01392 210829 or email us at [email protected] We will be only too happy to help.