During the cold months your fireplace usage will kick into high gear, but in order to safely enjoy your fireplace, you need to get it ready for winter. We’re sure that over the years your family has created happy memories around the toasty fireplace, but there are also some serious dangers lurking there that you need to be aware of. So you need to have your fireplace in tip-top shape for winter.
Here are some tips for getting your fireplace ready for winter:
Clean your chimney: Your fireplace is a major heat source that produces particles that you eventually breathe in. Making sure the air is clean, should therefore be uppermost in your mind. Scheduling an annual chimney cleaning with a certified chimney sweep is one way to make certain that the air from your fireplace is clean, and safe to inhale.
Check for chimney obstructions: Flue tiles, leaves, chimney deterioration, and animal nests, are just a few of the things that can cause a blockage in your chimney. Obstructions are potentially very dangerous, as they can cause toxic fumes to enter your home.
Replace the batteries: Your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector play huge roles in keeping your family safe while using your fireplace or wood burning stove. Replace the batteries once per year in each device, and during winter preparation is a great time to do so.
Burn wood that is safe and dry: You probably decided to have a wood burning fireplace because it is cost efficient, and environmentally friendly. Besides, a wood fire smells better and looks prettier as well. However, you should also pay close attention to the type of wood you use in the fireplace, as it can impact your health, as well as the air quality of your home. Dry wood puts less smoke in the air, and does not waste fuel. Using hard woods such as oak, maple, and ash is highly recommended to increase the efficiency of each fire.
Clean out ashes: If you have a wood-burning fireplace, then you should clean out the ash pit regularly and remove all the ashes when it’s not in use. During the winter, remember to only burn dry, seasoned wood. It’s environmentally friendly, and will help to keep creosote under control.
Schedule your annual chimney cleaning and inspection for the same time each year so you won’t forget. Make sure to change the batteries in both the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector each year, and check them using the test button each month to ensure they’re in proper working order.
If you need to get your fireplace ready for winter, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service. We want you and your family to be safe and warm for the winter. Why not call us today at 610-626-2439 to get your cleaning and inspection out of the way before the next big cold front moves in.