Having a fireplace in your home adds a beauty and ambiance unlike any other feature of your home. There is a warm regal feeling that adds elegance and coziness to your home. Fireplace mantels display your most cherished art and artifacts. Fireplaces add value to your home. However, like most everything else in life, proper care and maintenance of your fireplace is essential. White Glove Chimney is a professional chimney service. We encourage homeowners to follow these simple principles to get the most from your fireplace.
The National Association of Home Builders recommends homeowners follow these guidelines to protect your home and fireplace:
- When you’re ready to use your fireplace, be sure to build the fire on the andirons or grate, never on the fireplace floor.
- To prevent soot and to add color to the fire, throw in a handful of salt.
- Store your firewood outside, away from the house and not directly on the ground.
- Have a CSIA-Certified chimney sweep inspect your chimney and fireplace annually, especially if you build a lot of fires in the winter.
One point that you may not realize about your standard fireplace is that open fireplaces are not the best choice for efficient heat in your home. However, fireplaces with a decent sized fire can provide a nice secondary heat source to help maximize heat in your home during the colder days of the year.
Other ways to maximize your fireplace’s potential is to install fireplace doors. Doors on your fireplace keep the heat inside your home and not let the warm air escape. Doors protect your home from flying sparks and also add a decorative touch. Dampers also keep the warm air inside your home when you are not using the fireplace and allow the smoke to escape when you are. Cast iron grates are also one of the best ways to keep heat in your room. Some grates have blowers on them and some are shaped like a C with tubes that allow air to circulate. Firebacks are metal plates that protect your masonry and direct heat back into the room. Following these additional recommendations help you maximize the efficiency of your fireplace.
And of course, a yearly inspection and cleaning of your fireplace and chimney will also add to the functionality and safety of your fireplace. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends an annual inspection and by one of their certified chimney technicians. During the inspection, the technician will look for dangerous cracks, leaks, and problems with the lining or masonry inside your chimney and fireplace. A CSIA certified chimney sweep will also perform a complete cleaning to remove any potential fire hazards and the combustible build up from using your fireplace.
Finally, according to the EPA’s Burn Wise program the most important things you can do to maximize the benefits of your fireplace begin with the wood. Learn the knack to building and starting the fire in order to use less wood and keep your fire burning longer. Consideration should also being given to where you purchase the wood (local is best) and how you store the wood.
Always take care of your chimney, be fire safe, and get the most enjoyment out your fireplace. Call or contact White Glove Chimney for your routine maintenance and chimney needs.