Using your wood-burning fireplace can be a great way to cut your heating costs during the winter, but is your fireplace ready to be used? In order for your fireplace and chimney to work as efficiently and as safely as possible, you need to undergo some simple preparations to get the system ready for cold weather. To help you get prepared for winter, All Seasons Chimney would like to share with you some tips from This Old House.
Schedule a professional chimney sweeping and inspection.
Before you light the first fire of the season, it is recommended by many national fire safety organizations to have your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned and inspected. This maintenance task will ensure that you do not need any essential repairs and that your chimney is free of soot and creosote.
Ensure your chimney is properly capped.
Our chimney sweeps at All Seasons Chimney can check out the condition of your chimney cap to see if it needs repairing or replacing. If you need a new chimney cap or if your chimney is not capped, we can install a new one to protect your chimney from water from rain and melted snow as well as from birds and animals.
Stock up on seasoned firewood.
If you do not cut and season your own firewood, find a trusted and reputable dealer in your town who sells seasoned (dried) firewood. Typically, the wood should have been cut and stored for at least six months to be sufficiently seasoned. This kind of wood will allow you to burn less wood and produce less creosote.
Get a spark guard.
To keep hot embers from jumping out of the fire to burn someone or ignite a fire, install a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors. This is an excellent accessory for fire safety, especially if you have young children.
Practice the best wood burning tips.
Do not overstuff your firebox with wood. Fires that are too hot can damage or crack the chimney as well as produce a large amount of creosote. Place logs at the back of the fireplace on a metal grate, and use kindling to start a fire.
Need more winter preparation tips for your fireplace and chimney? Contact us at All Seasons Chimney to learn safe and efficient wood burning practices.