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FAQs about Chimneys

My chimney has suddenly started smoking?
This could be caused by the flue being blocked by mortar or something else; try getting the chimney swept.

Smoking gets worse over a period of time?
Your flue is likely to be partially blocked by soot or tar; try getting the chimney swept.

My fire smokes in certain wind directions and conditions?
This could either be pressure variation, or downdraught. For downdraught fit an anti-downdraught cowl such as the Brewer UFO.

What is downdraught in a chimney?
Where wind for various reasons blows down the chimney preventing gases and smoke from rising up the chimney to the atmosphere.

What is pressure variation?
Where the pressure at the fire is less than at the chimney pot, sucking air down the chimney.

Why does my fire smoke when the doors and windows are closed?
This is probably caused by lack of ventilation which is causing the pressure to drop in the room. You need to add ventilation and fitting the Brewer Aspirotor would also help.

I have a large opening fireplace that smokes most of the time.

  1. The opening may be too big for the flue - reduce the fire size to correct ratio and smoke level.
  2. You may have a blocked chimney; try getting it swept.
  3. If you have downdraught fit a Brewer U.F.O Cowl

My standard size fireplace smokes most of the time?

  1. Your flue may be too large or too small; try changing to the correct ratio.
  2. You may have a badly formed throat/lintel. There must not be a flat surface directly over the fire.
  3. If you have downdraught fit a Brewer UFO Cowl.

What can I do about birds getting into my chimney?
As it implies the Brewer Birdguard is specifically designed to stop birds getting into the system. It is important that you install the correct type of birdguard suitable for your chimney system i.e.: gas, oil or solid fuel. The Brewer Birdguard also provides additional protection from the weather with its distinctive pressed raincap.

What precautions should I take if I no longer use my chimney?
It is important to protect these types of chimney, especially in the winter. The rain/freeze cycle can cause structural damage to the chimney or adjacent brickwork. By fitting a Brewer Chimney Capper, rain and birds are prevented entry, but it is important that nominal ventilation is maintained.

How often should I sweep my chimney?
We recommend that all systems should be swept annually. If you burn wood or coal and use the fire often, you are advised to have your chimney or flue swept at least twice a year and only use seasoned wood

I have been told I have a leaky flue, what does this mean?
This is where two flues are built with a common dividing brick wall, which over the years could be breached so gases do not escape correctly.