Cleaning old fireplaces
We bought an old house (1860ish) about 2 years ago but the fireplace (60*80) smells of soot which goes through the whole house. Chimney sweeps have come and gone each one with a solution and I have even placed an air extractor on the top of the chimney. Today I took the fireplace apart there is an ash tray at the bottom (10cm) and an iron radiator with a water inlet and outlet pipe sort of thing above it (10cm). The embers from the grate about 20cm above the ground must have fallen onto the little radiator to heat the water which was probably the central heating! At the back of the fire there is a heavy iron plate that can be removed and behind that a sort of metal box. At the moment the metal box (50cm * 100cm)moves at the top but cannot be removed because the bottom is full of soot. Should it be able to be removed to clean behind? Where can I find reliable advice about the cleaning of an old fireplace with a water heating system?