When fall nips the air, it’s time to start thinking about home heating solutions and if you rely on a fireplace or wood stove for comfort heating, there are some preparation and maintenance issues to consider.
Here’s a checklist of fireplace maintenance:
- Do you have an all-metal firebox or firebrick? If it’s the former, look for cracks in the seams. If it’s the latter, check for worn, crumbling mortar, and replace if necessary. One unfortunate aspect of open, wood burning fireplaces is that they tend to waste a lot of heat. Consider getting a fireplace insert from Home & Hearth Outfitters; we carry Enviro, Jotul and Pacific Energy products that are attractive, economical and energy efficient.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned. Over time, the inner surfaces of a chimney accumulate layers of creosote, which is highly flammable and can cause a dangerous chimney fire. If yours is fueled by natural gas or propane, check to make certain that the vents are clear. Our service professionals at Home & Hearth Outfitters can come to your home, conduct an inspection and do any cleaning that may be necessary.
- Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Avoid burning freshly-cut firewood, as this contains moisture that can lead to creosote build-up. Burn only dry, thoroughly seasoned firewood.
- If you have ceiling fans, make the best use of them by making certain they are turning the right way. Since heat rises, you want to adjust these fans to blow air downward
- If you don’t have a chimney cap (and you should), take a peek down the chimney and make certain a bird or small mammal hasn’t made a little nest for itself there. Even if the animal has abandoned it for the winter, it can block smoke and fumes.
- Consider moving the furniture so that it’s closer to the fire. A cozy fire on chilly nights is welcoming and attractive. However, moving sofas and chairs closer will also take advantage of the heat generated.
- It not seem directly connected to fireplace maintenance – and it may seem obvious – but make certain your smoke and fire alarms are working. It is recommended that the batteries be changed annually. If you haven’t done this in awhile, now is the time.
Of course, if you have questions, the folks here at Home & Hearth Outfitters are as close as a phone call or email.