It is getting really cold at night and the soba has started to get smoky – these two things seem to happen at the same time. Maybe it is a combination of the flu being icy cold and having a build up of soot which slows the flow of hot gases and smoke. Left it would get more smoky, and then dangerous since carbon monoxide would start to become present in the smoke. It goes without saying that we have carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, in our view anyone who has any device with an open flame in their home should have these. Even so, it is far better to keep the soba working safely.
So before it got any worse it was time to pull everything apart for cleaning and to remove the soot from the flu. Cleaning the soba and flu is not a pleasant task, but it is essential. We have a round wire brush on an extendable pole which is just about the ideal tool, but it is a messy job, soot gets everywhere. Of course it was bound to need doing the day when we have people coming over in the evening…..