Tips to Maintain Your Wood Fireplace
Nothing says winter weather like curling up in front of the fireplace with a warm blanket. As you begin to use your chimney more often in the coming months, it is a good idea to keep it maintained. A clean wood fireplace not only operates more efficiently and saves you money on heating costs, but it is also safer.
Keep It Clean
The best way to ensure your safety is to keep the fireplace and chimney are clean. You should have it inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year. Between cleanings, be sure to monitor your fireplace for any signs of buildup. If you notice excess soot and dirt, you may want to consider more frequent cleanings by a professional chimney sweep.
Look especially for creosote – a dark-colored substance that can build up if the wood is not burning completely. Creosote is flammable and should be cleaned with a creosote remover as soon as possible. Other tips to keeping your fireplace in good working order:
• Sweep or vacuum cold ashes after each fire.
• Use hard woods like ash, birch, oak and maple, which burn longer and have less pitch and sap and cause less creosote buildup.
• Consider installing a stainless steel liner, which can improve safety by keeping fire and embers contained.
• Use heat-proof glass doors, which will prevent heat loss and keep embers from escaping the fireplace.
Your wood fireplace is a great way to heat your home. If you can keep it well-maintained, you will reduce safety threats and maximize its heating capabilities.
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