Traditional open fires and natural fuel-burning stoves are experiencing a massive renaissance in popularity in the UK - a recent survey by the National Home Builders’ Association found that 77% of people cited a fireplace as their most-wanted household fixture.

If you are among the many people wishing to transform your home with the enticing glow of softly-flickering flames, then don't forget about the chimney - keeping it clean and well-maintained will ensure a safe, long and optimal service life for your fire.

There is a lot of common 'knowledge' going around on the subject of chimneys but how much of it is true? We decided to do a bit of mythbusting and find out!

Myth - burning softwoods, such as pine, causes a buildup of creosote in the chimney.
Fact - a study carried out by the University of Georgia found that such buildups were more likely to be caused by low-temperature fires. Making sure wood was dry and well-seasoned were found to be more important factors.

Myth - chimneys not regularly used do not require yearly inspection/cleaning.
Fact - this myth does not take into account factors such as cracked masonry & chimney linings & water damage.

Myth - open fires eventually make the room colder(!)
Fact - although this has some truth to it in the vase of old masonry fireplaces (because fire uses warm oxygen from the room while burning, cooler oxygen from elsewhere is sucked in to replace it. Today, firebacks solve the problem with open fires while modern wood- and gas-burning stoves are much more energy efficient.

Myth - metal chimney liners prevent the need for yearly inspections.
Fact - while very effective, these liners are not infallible and are not a failsafe guarantee against further problems.

Myth - Father Christmas comes down the chimney to deliver presents.
Fact - You might be happy with Father Christmas coming down the Chimney but Less welcome guests, in the form of birds, do however like to nest in chimneys so protect yours with a galvanised wire balloon - produced in a range of sizes by Bluebird Fixings, these essential devices are currently available with 10% off from BS Fixings so check out our online shop!