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Maintaining Your Fireplace this Season

When people are looking to buy or rent a home, one of the most popular amenities they’re looking for is a fireplace. After all, they can act as a beautiful centerpiece to nearly any living space. But what people don’t take into consideration while they’re looking at fireplaces is what it takes to preserve and maintain it. For the most part, it’s simple enough. Having your chimney swept is key to making sure your fireplace isn’t a safety hazard. However, a lot of maintenance has more to do with prevention than anything else.

6 Tips for Maintaining your Fireplace this Season

  1. Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and regularly make sure they are functioning.
     
  2. Keep combustible materials away from a burning fireplace. While a guard does most of the work in preventing harm from children and pets, it’s not a surefire solution to avoiding something from catching fire.
     
  3. Make sure a certified chimney sweep cleans and inspects your wood-burning fireplace annually. Frequent occurrences in fireplace malfunctions are due to blockage in the form of creosote or animals. Avoiding this safety hazard is simple and only includes making an occasional appointment.
     
  4. Test your fireplace. One easy way to check whether or not your fireplace is working correctly is by observing where your smoke exits. Light a few small pieces of wood. If the smoke exits vertically through the chimney, it should be functioning properly. However, if the smoke enters the room, it could be a potential risk. If anything suggest that your fireplace isn’t in working order, make an appointment for an inspection and avoid use until then.
     
  5. Burn only seasoned wood, or wood that has been cut and dried under cover for at least 6-12 months. This lessens the odds that the wood is holding too much moisture. Split wood typically dries more effectively than whole logs. Using the proper wood for fires prevents creosote build-up and creates less soot.
     
  6. Burn hardwoods, such as oak, ash, and maple. These woods produce more heat than that of softwoods, including pine, poplar, and cedar.
     

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