Firstly it is always best to have the inside of your chimney (the flue) checked for damage or loose debris.
The reason your flue should be checked is to ensure there are no cracks, which will allow smoke and carbon monoxide to leave the chimney and enter your rooms.
If a chimney has not been used for some time it should be swept to clear all loose debris which could catch fire. During use the flue will get a build up of creosote which should be regularly cleared by a chimney sweep.
Your chimney sweeper will give you a report telling you if there are any problems with your chimney, what can be done about it, and a quote for carrying out the work for you.
Your chimney sweep can also give you the all clear for using an open fire straight away. However, if you wish to have a stove or new fireplace installed you will need your installer to come out and assess the size of space available in your chimney. They will then be able to help you choose the right stove or fireplace for your home.
I regularly inspect, repair and clean chimneys, stoves and fireplaces. If you would like a quote and live in the Essex, North Kent or East London areas please do not hesitate calling me on .
If you found this article helpful, you may also like to read : The importance of a properly fitted stove.