A warm and cozy fireplace is just what you need on a cold night. You can cuddle up with someone you love, enjoy a hot cup of something tasty, or even relax and read a book by yourself. They can be romantic, soothing and inviting. Plus, fireplaces can help you save on your heating costs.
As with any other major appliance or piece of equipment in your home, proper maintenance is essential to extending its life and ensuring the safety of your home.
Here are a few things you need to do to keep your fireplace in top condition and ensure safe conditions in your home:
Clean the Firebox Regularly
The firebox is the area where you burn the logs. Ashes and other debris can build a thick layer at the bottom of the firebox, which can make it harder to burn some fires and can create a safety issue. The deeper the ash layer, the more likely that hot ash is still smoldering on the bottom, which can light other things on fire or burn curious hands. Clean the area at least once a week when you are using the fireplace regularly, and clean it out for good once the season is over.
Perform and Annual Inspection
Chimney sweeps are real professionals. Hire a chimney sweep to inspect and clean your chimney at least once a year. This will clear out any debris that might have built up at the top of the chimney as a result of storms or animal activity, such as nesting squirrels. This debris can cause a blockage that will send smoke and carbon monoxide back into your home when you build a fire. Getting this annual inspection and cleaning will ensure the safety and efficiency of the whole unit.
Shine the Exterior and Accessories
The outside of your fireplace can also get dirty and dull, which can significantly impact the look of the whole piece. You can clean and shine up your accessories by using a brass cleaner or home remedies like vinegar or lemon juice. You can clean the wood mantle or hearth with a good wood polish, and you can buy a specialty brick cleaner for any brickwork on the hearth. Using the right products for the materials you have will produce the best results and help preserve the life of the materials.
A fireplace can add value to your home. It can also help you to save money on energy costs, creating a more comfortable environment during the cooler months, and just plain enhance your enjoyment of your home thanks to the look and the ambience it creates. It is important that you practice the right ongoing maintenance to ensure that you protect this important feature of your home and prolong its life. With the right care, you’ll be able to enjoy a warm, cozy hearth for the full life of your home – or at least until you move.