How To Maintain Your Wood-Burning Fireplace
A wood-burning fireplace is a great addition to your home. Not only does it give a cozy and homey aesthetic but also helps keep your home warm during the chilly season. To make sure that your fireplace will function well during the winter, it’s best to get HVAC services from professionals. You can also do your part by reading these maintenance tips that discuss how to take better care of your wood-burning fireplace.
Clean the Fireplace Interior
One way to ensure that your wood-burning fireplace will function properly is by cleaning its interior at least once a year. This is recommended especially before the time it will be used frequently. When cleaning your fireplace, make sure to wear a mask before anything else for your safety. You can clean the interior by vacuuming, sweeping, and wiping down the logs as needed.
Remove Soot and Creosote
Soot and creosote are harmful byproducts of burning wood. Soot buildup typically happens because of clogged burner ports and firewood that aren’t positioned properly.
Creosote, on the other hand, comes from the chemical compounds of smoke produced by burning wood. These combustion byproducts condense along the chimney walls as they cool on their way up. Creosote is formed as a result of this condensation. Since this can be dangerous to remove on your own, the best way to have this cleaned is by contacting professionals.
Install Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms
Another thing to add to your fireplace maintenance checklist is making sure that the chimneys are debris-free. When your chimney is clogged, carbon monoxide poisoning happens due to the buildup of tree debris, pests, or creosote. This can be difficult to detect since this toxic gas is both colorless and odorless.
Another health hazard that could be a result of a clogged chimney is a smoke buildup in your home. Typically, the smoke should be released to the chimney. However, if your chimney is blocked by too much debris, the smoke may have a difficult time exiting through it.
Asides from keeping your chimney clear, it would also help if you install a carbon monoxide and smoke alarm inside your house. This equipment will immediately alert you in case any of these harmful substances are detected in your home.
Check Chimney Cap
A properly functioning chimney is required for an efficient fireplace. Whether you have a masonry or metal chimney, it is critical that you inspect it on a regular basis for cracks, dents, or rust, as these could result in larger problems.
In addition, the chimney has a cap which is typically made of stone or metal slab and is designed to keep water, birds, and other materials out. The cap has a screen on the side that also serves as a spark arrester. Examine the cap and screen for any issues and, if necessary, replace them.
Install a Blower and Heat-Proof Glass Door
Another maintenance tip that will help prolong your fireplace’s lifespan is installing a blower and heat-proof glass door. The glass door, aside from keeping the heat in and drafts out, prevents dust particles, sparks, and burning embers from coming into your house. In addition, it also prevents children and pets from getting too close to the fire.
Installing a blower, on the other hand, helps make heating more efficient; your fireplace will circulate more heat and can cover even bigger spaces. This will prevent your fireplace from overworking itself.
Keep Combustible Materials Away From the Fireplace
Making sure that you keep combustible materials away from your fireplace should also be part of your maintenance. Items like carpets and drapes should ideally be at least 12 inches away from the fireplace lintel. Keeping them away from your fireplace will protect you and your home from a potential fire.
Test Your Fireplace Before Usage
Before using your fireplace, make sure to test it out first. You can do this by lighting a few small pieces of seasoned wood from the top down. The smoke should exit vertically from the fireplace and into the chimney. If it enters the room, it may be a sign that there is a problem with your fireplace.
Get Professional Chimney Sweeping Services
Following these tips will definitely help you maintain your fireplace and prolong its lifespan. However, no tip will be better than getting help from professionals. Before winter starts, make sure that your fireplace is clean and well-maintained by getting HVAC services from experts you trust.