Tips for Off Season Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance
The best thing to do with your fireplace during the off season is to schedule maintenance and cleaning. Approximately 42% of all home fires related to heating involve chimneys and fireplaces. You will be ready for the winter and able to use your fireplace with peace of mind that your family is safe by keeping up with annual chimney maintenance. The following is more information about an annual chimney inspection and cleaning as well as other recommendations on what to do with your fireplace in summertime.
Inspection and Cleaning
If you rarely use your fireplace, start off with a scheduled inspection for your fireplace and chimney. It may be that you don’t need a cleaning, which removes excess creosote and soot from your flue lining. If, however, you get a lot of use out of your fireplace in winter, a cleaning is also recommended. With every fire you build, creosote is deposited in the chimney. Creosote is highly flammable, and sparks from a fire could start an intense blaze in the chimney that could spread to your home. A chimney cleaning also helps to ensure a good draft, which is needed for proper operation.
During an inspection, a chimney professional will check your chimney system for signs of moisture leaks, deterioration, damage, cracks, obstructions, and much more. A crack of any size in the flue lining exposes your home to a possible fire because heat from the fireplace can reach combustible materials in your home through any breach in the flue. Chimney technicians have the tools needed to ensure that the flue lining is in good condition.
Clean out the Ashes and Decorate
You can improve the off-season appearance of your fireplace by cleaning out the ashes, which will also help to prevent foul odors. With your nice, clean fireplace, you can also create a new decorative look. There are many incredible ideas for using a fireplace creatively, adding fresh visual impact. Examples are filling the fireplace with books, candles, or plants.
Install Glass Doors
It’s important to close the damper when your fireplace is not in use. Otherwise, it is like leaving a window open, which allows much of the air heated or cooled by your central heating and air conditioning system to escape to the outdoors. Unfortunately, dampers often don’t form an adequate seal to help you cut utility costs. You can have glass doors professionally installed on your fireplace, and the doors will virtually prevent the exchange of air from occurring.
Upgrade with an Insert
If you currently have a traditional masonry fireplace, it has very little, if any, impact on reducing the amount you spend on heating in winter. A fireplace insert is heavily insulated and fits inside your existing fireplace. Glass doors are also included, creating a better burning environment. The efficiency rating of modern fireplace inserts is very high. You can count on your fireplace providing a significant amount of heat in winter, making it possible for you to cut down on your use of central heating, which will reduce your utility costs.
Install a Chimney Cap
If you don’t have a chimney cap on your chimney, there are many good reasons to invest in one. Chimney caps protect your chimney from moisture; and, if you get one with mesh, animals and debris can also be prevented from getting inside your chimney and causing problems. The mesh on chimney caps also helps to prevent hot sparks from exiting the chimney and potentially catching nearby combustible materials on fire.
Contact the chimney professionals at any of our stores, for all of the help and services you need for your fireplace and chimney, during the off season and any time of year.