The fireplace is a prominent centerpiece in many households. There’s just something comforting about the sound of firewood crackling and the radiance of fire flooding the room with warmth.
Keeping a Wood-Burning fireplace in good condition is key to maintaining a safe and effective fireplace.
Consider these fireplace maintenance guiding principles to help guarantee that your fireplace continues to provide warmth and charm for years to follow.
Clean the Interior of the firebox
A wood-burning fireplace may enhance a home’s ambience. Cleaning the interior of the fireplace will help make it more efficient at delivering heat. Ashes from burning wood are rich in nutrients for plants and may be spread through your garden.
When cleaning your fireplace, wear a dust mask. This helps prevent any irritants from entering your nose and causing respiratory issues.
Another good practice is to cover the area around your fireplace to prevent any ash from staining the area. This helps ensure easier cleanup as well.
Install Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms
A properly installed fireplace shouldn’t give you any problem. Issues like carbon monoxide poisoning could arise when you have a clogged chimney or flue system. To ensure that your fireplace is functioning as it should, it’s best to have a carbon Monoxide and smoke alarm installed.
Carbon monoxide is dangerous and can kill easily. There is no smell to it as well.
Another good practice is to maintain proper ventilation as well. This will help draw any carbon monoxide out of the home.
Remove Soot and Creosote Buildup
Creosote is one of the major causes of chimney obstruction or fire. Soot is another harmful and hideous byproduct of burning woods.
Removing creosote can be done by calling a professional. Professionals are better suited for the job as they have experience and are insured to do so. Doing it yourself can damage the chimney parts and be a real hassle.
Check the Chimney and its Cap
A properly functioning chimney is essential for an efficient fireplace. Any cracks, dents, or rusts could indicate a larger problem. The cap has a screen on one side that also serves as a spark arrester. Check the cap and screen for wear and tear, and replace them if necessary.
A chimney sweep can do this easily. They will be able to better tell if the chimney or any of the components need to be replaced and are up to code.
Use the Right Wood
Wood should be dried for 6-12 months before it can be burned in the hearth. Seasoned woods are those that have been properly dried, typically with less than 20% moisture content. It is best to split logs into small pieces to allow them to dry faster.
A good practice to follow is to make sure any wood you use is not treated or able to put off any fumes when burned. Not only is this bad for you, but it can cause issues for the environment as well.
You can use wood from around your property as well, just be sure it is safe. Oak is a fantastic one to use and by using these you are saving money!
Test the Fireplace Before Using It
Before you use the fireplace, make sure it is in good working order. Simply light a few pieces of wood first and see if the smoke escapes through the chimney. If it gets into the room, troubleshoot and fix the problem first before loading up on wood.
An obstruction in the chimney duct, too much creosote or soot buildup, a closed damper, or wet wood are all possible causes.
That’s a wrap!
Well that’s all for now! I hope you use these to improve your fireplace upkeep and that they keep your fireplace safe and useful.