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HETAS HOT TIP OF THE WEEK Cold Plug – Winter Safety Advice for Stove Users


Jan 26, 2023
Capital Fireplaces - Woodrow 5kW (2)

With temperatures having recently plummeted, many of you will be relying on your stove to help heat your home. HETAS offers its advice on how to avoid a ‘cold plug’ in your chimney when temperatures suddenly drop.

A ‘cold plug’ in your flue can be an unexpected issue during the colder weather. It is an invisible plug of cold air that can form in your chimney when temperatures drop significantly, and the chimney is left to go cold. This can result in the flue being plugged, which pushes smoke back down and out of your stove.

It can occur overnight during a sudden drop in temperature when your stove is not in use or when a clear chimney has not been used for a period of time.

There are measures you can take to limit the risk of a cold plug:

  1. Leave your stove door open at least 30 minutes before lighting and when not in use.
  2. Using the top down method of lighting a fire.
  3. Starting with a firelighter can be an effective way to warm the flue.

Ideally, you want to gently increase the internal temperature of your chimney to remove the cold air plug.

Chief executive officer at HETAS Bruce Allen comments: “With the current forecast predicting the potential for a sudden drop in temperature weather warnings being issued as snow and ice creep in, we’re urging those with wood-burning stoves to carry out the above steps in order to limit the risk a cold plug can create. Solid fuel stoves are ideal for this time of year, but it is important that they are properly maintained and understood by users to ensure optimum safety and efficiency during the weather where you need them most”.

Book in with a HETAS-registered chimney sweep or installer, who will be able to offer further seasonal tips when they complete your installation, annual service or regular sweep.

For more tips and advice on making the most of your solid fuel appliance, visit hetas.co.uk.