By the sound of it this house has had its share of chimney fires. Whether you’re burning solid fuel or wood, there is likely to be abuild up of tar and soot in the flue, so now is a good time of year to get your chimneys swept before fires are in frequent use.
Something I noticed in the truck was a tendency for the narrow flue to clog up pretty quickly, so keep a special eye on narrow flues.
Anyhow, if you are like us and a) can’t afford to get a sweep out and b) your roof isn’t very high, then this method might be for you. I saw them doing this on Victorian Farm, decided to give it a go, and it works a treat.
Tie a weight to the end of a length of rope, tie a good lot of holly (very securely – you don’t want to end up with a chimney full of holly), onto the rope – give yourself enough rope that it will appear in the fire place below.
Get an accomplice to pull on the lower end of the rope, while you keep hold of the other end. Pull holly up and down the chimney once or twice, ending on a downward pull, and you should end up with a pretty clean chimney. Don’t of course forget lots of sheets around the fireplace as the dust can be fearsome.
Yould probably want to do this a bit more often than if you were getting it swept with brushes, as it might not be just as effective, but it works for us. Of course if you have large chimneys and small children, then they are always an option, but holly and a rope is cheap and effective.

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