What better way to make your nights more welcoming than by making use of a nice, roaring fire in your fireplace? If you haven’t worked on fireplace maintenance and cleaning however, this will be the best time to handle it before it becomes a fire hazard. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your fireplace is a necessary step if you want to keep warm on your cold winter nights. Here are some tips on making it happen:
- Start your fireplace maintenance by checking out the chimney damper
Grab a good flashlight and see whether anything is blocking your chimney damper. Animals will sometimes take up residence in the warm confines of the chimney for months on end. Falling leaves can also take up place inside the chimney, so if you see a blockage you would do well to arrange for a chimney cleaning.
- Fireplace maintenance cleaning
You would need to clean your firebox from dirt, debris and ashes. This simple routine will remove the detritus that could easily become a fire hazard in the right circumstances. Once that is done you will be ready to light fires again when the cleaning is done.
- Containing Air Pollutants
The warm fire in your hearth makes smoke that contains carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and other volatile organic compounds that need to disappear from your home. These toxins can serious affect anyone who suffers asthma attacks and breathing issues, not to mention it can also hurt healthy individuals as well. The best way you can avoid this is to switch from a wood burning fireplace to a gas one if you can. Wood burning fireplaces inserts certified by the EPA or other agencies across the world are available in different styles and sizes so they can fit in with already existing masonry. Their fire is visible right through the screen for aesthetics and it will have good output without the need for constant cleaning you would need to handle otherwise.
- Light your fire to keep smoke to a minimum
All firewood is not the same of course, so it pays well to know it before you move on with your wood burning. Dry wood will burn more efficiently and it will cause less smoke. Firewood needs to be seasoned and dry, from 6 to 12 months after splitting it. Hardwood such as orchard, oak and more will burn slower and dry slower than softwood such as pine and fir, so it may take longer for it to dry out completely.
Firewood stored outside your home should be placed on a higher ground. If you store firewood outside, you should make sure it is only a foot away from the ground at the very minimum. Cover the top of it to keep rain and dew out, but leave the sides open to allow for air drying. Choose a cord of wood with cracked, dark colored ends when possible. They should be lighter as this shows the moisture inside the wood is gone.