Are you first-time homeowners about to move into a house with a fireplace? You may be excited to start collecting firewood and cozying up to a crackling fire, but before you get ahead of yourself, here are some essential fireplace maintenance and safety tips you should know, courtesy of Igne Ferro.
Get a Chimney Inspection
In case your chimney health was not included in the home inspection before you bought your house, it’s crucial that you get one done yourself. A chimney inspection can ensure that there are no obstructions, such as tree branches or even animal nests, and that there is no damage to the brick. Without first making sure that your fireplace is safe to use, you should leave it alone.
Read the Safety Manual
Whether your fireplace is wood-burning, gas, or ethanol, there is always a right way and a wrong way to light a fire. Even wood-burning fireplaces require some knowledge of the basics of fire safety. You need to know what the flue is, where the damper is located, how to ensure proper airflow, and how to maintain basic cleanliness. All of this information can be found in your fireplace safety manual. If the house didn’t come with the manual, the internet is a great place to start your search.
Clean Your Fireplace
Ideally, the previous homeowners would have cleared out all the ash and debris from the fireplace and gave it a good clean. However, the actual fireplace is only the tip of the iceberg. Consider hiring a good old-fashioned chimney sweep to give your chimney a thorough cleaning and to ensure that no flammable fragments are stuck to the inner walls and no animals are trapped inside. Clearing out your chimney will make sure smoke doesn’t travel back into the house.
Get the Right Wood
Not all wood is created equal. Seasoned hardwood is la crème de la crème of wood-burning fuel because it burns slower and hotter, and it produces the most pleasurable scent. If you order a cord of wood to your home for the wintertime, you might have to wait a year or two for it to reach its optimal burning point. Green wood still has a large store of water, which takes some time to evaporate. You can tell when green wood is in the fireplace when it has a hard time staying lit and lets out a continuous hissing noise like a tea kettle. Plus, green wood emits more chemicals, such as creosote, which stick to your fireplace. The best kind of wood for your fireplace includes these slow-burning varieties: pine, beech, maple, sycamore, yellow birch, and cherry.
Are you interested in upgrading your existing unit? Is a cozy fireplace all that’s missing from your new dream home? Contact Igne Ferro Architectural Fireplace Studio today.