People have a special connection with their wood burning fireplaces. Through one’s lifetime, furniture comes and goes, walls are painted different colours, and flooring is ripped up and re-laid, but the fireplace remains the same. For many, the fireplace is an unchanging reminder of wonderful childhood and family memories.

Keep your wood burning fireplace crackling for years to come with some useful tips from the professionals at Igne Ferro:

Get it Inspected

The most effective way to extend the life of your wood burning fireplace is by regular maintenance and professional inspections. An annual inspection will reduce the risk of fires, help detect any structural damage, and ensure your fireplace is working efficiently.

Keep it Clean

As wood burns, it creates creosote; a dark, oily substance that sticks to walls and the inside of your chimney. Creosote is highly flammable and can obstruct your chimney if left untreated. Hire a professional to clean your chimney and ensure there is no fire hazard. To help keep the unit clean, sweep old ashes off the floor and remove any charred wood.

Burn Hardwoods

Hardwoods like maple, oak, birch, and ash produce less sap, and burn long and hot. Although these can be more expensive than softwoods, they create less creosote buildup and are a healthier option for your fireplace. Burning smaller, controlled fires will also help prevent creosote buildup.

Install a Chimney Cap

Have you ever opened your chimney flue and been startled by a flapping, distressed bird fly out into your living room? Animals like birds, squirrels, bats, and raccoons are notorious for making a home out of your chimney. Stainless steel chimney caps are a sure-fire way to keep animals out of your chimney.

Know Your Smoke

You can tell a lot about a fireplace by the colour and quality of the smoke it emits. Excess smoke may suggest that your fire is burning improperly. A healthy, low creosote-producing fire will produce a thin line of white steam out of your chimney. The darker the smoke, the more pollutants are being burned. To ensure your fire is burning properly, take a walk outside a half hour after it is lit and check out the quality of the smoke coming from the chimney.

Wood burning fireplaces are a wonderful way to get the family together, and relax in front of warm, crackling flames. To keep your fireplace in tip top shape, it’s important to maintain it, burn the right wood, and ensure it’s annually inspected by a professional. For more questions about wood burning fireplaces, or to install a fireplace in your home, get in touch with the experts at Igne Ferro today.