A fireplace not only adds to the decor of your home’s interior, it performs a vital function. Everybody knows that maintenance of this structure is important for its longevity and the safety of users. What some people may not know is that there are a few things that they can do to get the most out of their fireplaces. These simple steps can mean lower heating costs, and possibly minimize the need for major repairs.
Choose Firewood Carefully
This is your first major concern with the use of your fireplace. The health of your fireplace and chimney depend largely on the type of wood you choose. Any type of wood will burn, but if it is not properly dried, it produces more smoke and creosote, and less heat. It will also take longer to get the fire started. So if you buy firewood, choose only reputable sellers who offer seasoned wood. If you cut your own firewood, make sure that you have proper storage, and that you can give it at least six months to dry.
Clean the Fireplace Regularly
Chimney cleaning is the really tough part of the job, so leave that to us. When it comes to the fireplace however, cleanup is relatively easy, and it should be done regularly. Leaving ash in your fireplace actually reduces the amount of heat you get from it. You will need to remove the ash, but do not treat this like a quick sweeping job. First, make sure that embers are completely burnt out before attempting to clean the area. Wear a dust mask and put the ash in a container that you can close securely. A metal container is usually the best option, since the ash may still retain some heat.
Prevent Heat Loss
Leaving the fireplace open when you are not using it will increase the size of your heating bill. Don’t forget to close the damper to keep the heat in your home from escaping. The damper will be checked during routine inspections to see if the heat of the fireplace has warped it. Warping limits the damper’s ability to seal in warm air.
Call us for Regular Maintenance
This is the most important aspect of fireplace use and safety. When you call us, we will perform a detailed chimney inspection to see if there are any problems that need attention. We will also clean it properly, removing the creosote that can restrict chimney function or become a fire hazard.
These steps are important for anyone who owns a fireplace. You want your fireplace and chimney to last for a long time, and to be as problem-free as possible. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 so we can look at these areas and tell you what needs to be done.