Fireplace Fundamentals

The weather is cooling down, which means it’s time to gear up your fireplace! Everyone wants to cuddle up in front of a fireplace, but not everyone knows what it takes.

Fireplaces can be more complicated than they seem. Here’s everything you need to know!

Wood-burning

Safety is essential: ask a licensed professional to make sure your chimney is in good shape. Make sure to do this annually. Get rid of old ashes and make sure the damper is open and in good repair.

Be selective with the wood you use. Seasoned wood that has spent 6 months being split and dried is ideal. Form newspaper into a ball and put it under the grates. Put finely split wood on top in a crisscross formation. Finish it off with one of the seasoned wood logs.

Before lighting a fire, make sure the flue is ready. You can do this by setting a roll of newspaper alight and put it near the open damper until you see smoke going to the flue.

Efficiency

Wood-burning fireplaces are beautiful, but if you’re looking for something to heat your house, they are not the solution: most of the heat actually leaves your home through the chimney. Gas fireplaces offer more efficiency, but can be pricey to install.

Safety

Always keep safety in mind when it comes to fire. Make sure there are no flammable objects in close proximity to the flames. Use a screen to stop embers from escaping and accidentally setting something alight. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are fully functional. Take precautionary measures to avoid children getting too close to hot fireplace instruments.

Odors from gas fireplaces

This smell is from something they add to the propane to help alert you of gas leaks. Ideally, there will be an oxygen depletion sensor in the fireplace already. Add another line of defense with functioning carbon monoxide detectors.

Cleaning

Cleaning your chimney is essential. Bring in a professional annually. When cleaning your own fireplace, gear up with a dust mask, sweep the ashes, and wash all the surfaces.

Source: Zillow

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