A wood-burning fireplace is still a hot trend despite all the other easy-to-use and hassle-free options like gas or electric fireplaces and central heating system. Its continuous popularity is due to the aesthetic it offers and how it impacts the space’s ambiance.
Plus, wood is available anywhere worldwide and has been a great fire fuel for ages. A modern wood-burning fireplace design is available today, which fits modern houses. When you choose a wood-burning fireplace, you should remember that you need to properly maintain your fireplace or chimney.
If you don’t know where to start in maintaining your fireplace, here are some tips that could guide you in making your fireplace clean and efficient.
Maintain Your Wood-Burning Fireplace: Only Use the Right Firewood
One part of maintaining your firewood is ensuring it is burning clean and efficiently. Therefore, you must be wary of choosing firewood for your fireplace. What is the right firewood to use? The right firewood that you should only use is well-seasoned firewood. It doesn’t matter what kind of wood you are going for, as long as it is well-seasoned.
Wet or green woods produce a lot of smoke which can cause problems like heart attack, asthma attack, coughing, and other respiratory illnesses. Aside from smoke problems, using the wrong wood can cause creosote buildup, odor, and, worst, chimney fires that can be dangerous.
To ensure you will use well-seasoned firewood, you must only purchase from reputable firewood sellers near you. Remember, it’s highly advised to purchase your firewood from a local dealer, as some states prohibit firewood transportation unless it has a USDA seal.
Therefore, if you are in Washington State, you should look for a reputable seasoned firewood dealer near you. If you live in Canada, on the other hand, it is illegal to bring firewood from Washington State to your country and vice versa.
The same goes for Australia. If you are living in Newcastle or anywhere nearby, you should get the best firewood Newcastle has to offer. Avoid getting firewood from other places to avoid transporting tree-killing insects that might hide in the firewood.
The next wood-burning fireplace maintenance tip you should remember is always to clean its interior. When you burn wood, it often causes some buildup inside your fireplace and on your chimney.
You will find a handful of ash deposits, creosote, dust, and dirt on your fireplace. Even with a few uses, your fireplace will be full of buildup, so you must regularly clean the fireplace’s interior. Remove all the buildup on both your fireplace walls and chimney walls.
Not only that this buildup of chemicals makes your fireplace look dirty and old, but they are also dangerous. Creosote and soot, for example, cause chimney fires if not removed regularly.
Do this tip to maintain the safety and beauty of your fireplace and make it more presentable, especially when guests are arriving.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
When you inhale a high carbon monoxide concentration, you will be poisoned. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, approximately 50,000 individuals are brought to the emergency room due to CO poisoning. At least 430 individuals died in the United States alone from accidental CO poisoning.
A fireplace, whether it uses wood or gas, is one of the sources of carbon monoxide. Installing a CO detector is a great way to avoid CO poisoning in your family. When you decide to install a fireplace at your home, it should always be accompanied by CO detectors.
Inspect the Chimney
Proper fireplace maintenance doesn’t only focus on the fireplace itself. You should also check the chimney and see if there are damages that need fixing. Look for broken bricks, loose sections, and problems in masonry joints.
Once you find some problems on your chimney, it is recommended to fix them immediately, even if the problem is still small. If you don’t address the issue immediately, it could become worse and more expensive to repair.
You should have a well-maintained and well-functioning chimney to make your fireplace more efficient. After your chimney inspection, you should also make time to take a look at the cap.
The cap prevents water, birds, and debris from entering your chimney, making it function properly. Often, you will see a buildup of dirt and dust on the cap. This buildup will hinder airflow to your chimney, reducing the efficiency of your fireplace.
Hire a Professional
If you think that you can’t handle the maintenance of your fireplace, especially with the chimney maintenance, you should call a professional. These professionals know what to do and what to look for that will decrease the efficiency of your fireplace.
Plus, letting the professional do the dirty work is more convenient for you, especially if you are busy.
Start Doing the Maintenance Work
Now that you know what to look for and what to do to maintain your fireplace properly, you should start doing it immediately. Follow the tips provided, and you shouldn’t be worried about what to do.