Hesselink works together with his brother Thijs and father Henk in their company Hesselink Schoorsteenvegers. Father Henk can estimate how much busier it is. “Certainly 25 percent, if not 30 to 40 percent.”
Son Bram agrees. “Last autumn it was also busy, but then we were able to help the new customers quickly. That is not the case at all now.”
Relatively small investment
Gert Kooij of the Dutch Fireplaces and Stove Industry Foundation (NKK) says that it is also busy in the showrooms. He does not have sales figures yet, because the run started at the end of the third quarter. At the end of the fourth quarter they know exactly how much busier it has been, but all signs point to a stampede. “Chimney sweeps, in the showrooms and in the wood shops are noticing it.”
Kooij can imagine that people will use the wood or pellet stove, now that gas prices are so high. “If you have an old house and it has a flue in it, it’s a relatively small investment.”
That is exactly what Lissy Markerink-Brouwer thought. This weekend she moves into a house with her boyfriend in Neede in the Achterhoek and is happy that chimney sweep Hesselink was able to cram her in.
“Otherwise it would have been our turn next year.” Not nice with that high gas price. With a variable energy contract, it can pay off to use wood for additional heating. In the living room at least, because the stove won’t heat much more, Markerink-Brouwer thinks. “Then it will be cold upstairs, but oh well. You’d better sleep on that!”
Concerns about ‘economic stokers’
Kooij is also concerned about those ‘economic stokers’. “Demand in showrooms is not going to lead to the short-term solution that consumers are looking for.” Because, as in many sectors, the stove industry also has to deal with long delivery times. The danger lies in old stoves that are not installed properly, Kooij thinks.
He’s afraid that both of them will put up a pipe somewhere and say it’s a stove. “That is the danger. Make sure you have the stove connected properly and be informed,” warns Kooij.
“A large appliance in a living room that is too small can already be dangerous. You then squeeze a fire and then you get extra smoke development.” If you use the stove incorrectly, you can run a great risk. “The risk of a chimney fire then becomes a lot greater.”