Benefits of Keeping a Fireplace Clean
A fireplace is a pleasure to use during cold winter weather, but what about after the fire dies down? Having a fireplace is a responsibility, and it takes work to maintain it properly. It’s important to keep a fireplace clean, and there are some important benefits to having a clean fireplace as opposed to a dirty one. Fireplace maintenance helps to keep your family and home safe and also helps with both fireplace efficiency and lowering the cost of home heating.
It is recommended by the National Fire Protection Agency that fireplaces and chimneys have an annual inspection and, as needed, professional cleaning. There are many important benefits to hiring a professional chimney sweep to perform annual fireplace checkups and maintenance. The following are among the benefits a chimney sweep provides:
• Trained chimney professionals know how to identify signs of damage to the chimney, fireplace, and other components of the heating and venting system. By catching problems early, expensive repairs can be avoided and a house fire can be prevented.
• Chimney sweeps have top-of-the-line professional equipment that has been designed to effectively remove flammable creosote from the chimney liner and the smoke chamber. Creosote is highly flammable, and it appears in three different forms or stages. When cleaning is neglected for too long, the last stage of creosote occurs, which is extremely difficult to remove.
• Professional chimney technicians have the experience and training to perform all types of repair and rebuilds of the chimney and fireplace. Because of their familiarity with the proper operation of the venting system, it’s important to entrust chimney sweeps with all repairs, maintenance, and rebuilds associated with the fireplace and chimney.
It can be dangerous to wait until annual maintenance is scheduled to clean your fireplace, if you make use of it throughout wintry seasons. Regular cleaning and upkeep helps to keep your home and family safer and helps to ensure that the venting system is operating properly. The following are tips for keeping your fireplace clean:
• Reduce the amount of hazardous creosote buildup in your chimney by burning only seasoned firewood with low moisture content.
• Do not use cleansers to clean your fireplace unless they are made specifically for that purpose. Regular household cleaners often leave behind flammable residue.
• Clean out ashes routinely to make sure plenty of air can still get to the firewood on the grate. This will help ensure that the fire is more efficient, which helps to reduce heating costs. Use recommended safety procedures when handling ashes.
• Never pour water in the fireplace to drown out a fire unless it is an emergency situation. The water makes the ashes pasty, and cleaning the firebox becomes much more difficult.
• Sprinkle damp coffee grounds over the cooled ashes in your fireplace, to reduce the amount of dust as ashes are being removed.
• After all embers in the fireplace have been out for at least 12 hours, dust or vacuum the hearth area, to prevent a hazardous buildup of soot and dust.
Keeping your fireplace clean not only makes it safer to use, it is also more efficient and aesthetically pleasing throughout the burn season.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110