While the comfort of a modern fireplace can never be overstated, taking care of it can pose quite a few challenges for homeowners. Many people rely on their fireplaces for economical heating solutions during colder months, but for whatever reason, they can also create quite a mess if not given the right care.
Not only that, but family gatherings tend to feel incomplete without a fireplace lighting up the living space. So if you are looking to maintain a clean and safe fireplace in your home, you are in the right place. To make things easier for you, here are some tips to keep in mind when installing a new fireplace or taking care of an existing one.
Don’t Forget A Chimney Sweep
Chimney Sweeps are real and not just fictional characters from the old-school movies. A chimney sweep can evaluate your fireplace and chimney to check for signs of blockage and other issues. Creosote, a sticky residue left behind by burning wood, can lead to chimney fires if left untreated for too long. This is why it is important to have your fireplace inspected by a professional at least once a year.
Leave A Little Ash
You have to be careful with this one as ash can be detrimental to one’s health. Although you should be cleaning out your firebox at least once a month, you should leave an inch of ash in the tray. This will help the coal retain heat and burn more efficiently. Be careful when scooping out ash from the firebox as it remains surprisingly hot for hours after the fire was put out.
Don’t Forget to Close The Damper
Installed just above the fireplace, the damper regulates the amount of air that can pass through the chimney. You should always have it open during a fire, but do not forget to close it when the flame goes out in order to retain maximum heat in the fireplace. It can also prevent unwanted flyers from creeping into your house through the chimney gaps.
Get a Chimney Cap
A chimney cap can go a long way to help you maintain a clean and safe fireplace. It will close off the opening of the chimney so small animals or bugs do not find their way into your home. It can also prevent birds from building a nest in your chimney. Leaving the top of your chimney open can be a recipe for disaster.
Use Seasoned Wood
Seasoned wood is specially prepared for fireplaces by dry aging them for over a year. Moisture is one of fire’s biggest enemies that makes for a poor fuel when present in firewood and also spews out harmful smoke when lit. Another way to ensure your wood burns efficiently is by placing them in close proximity to one another.
Consider Buying an Insert
If you are not sure about how a fireplace insert works, contact your chimney expert and they will tell you all about it. It is basically a steel box with a glass front which traps heat from the fire and works like a heat radiator for your home. It is an efficient way to get the most out of your firewood, so you are burning less of it. While there are other alternatives that let you achieve the same results, a fireplace insert is much more cost effective and easy to install.
At Turnbull Masonry, we understand the comfort and joy a fireplace can bring to your home. If you are looking to remodel, repair, or build a new fireplace, our experts would be more than happy to assist you.