Fireplaces are as comforting as warm apple pie and a new pair of socks. In the winter, they can supplement—or even replace—central heating, and in summer, they act as beautiful centrepieces in our living rooms. No matter how often you use your fireplace, it should always be properly cleaned and maintained to ensure its longevity.
People love modern gas fireplaces because all the benefits of a wood-burning fireplace are available at the push of a button. Gas fireplaces are cleaner and safer to use than wood-burning fireplaces, which means that families with really small children can feel more comfortable allowing their little ones close. While not exposed to dirt, wood, ash, and smoke, gas fireplaces still need cleaning and maintenance to run efficiently:
- Prevent your glass from getting a permanent milky stain by regularly cleaning both sides with glass cleaner at least once a month.
- While the glass is removed wipe away any dirt, dust, or cobwebs you see inside.
- At the same time, inspect the gasket for cracks, ensuring that there are no missing parts.
- Is your fireplace vented? Inspect and clear it of debris.
If you thought gas fireplaces were a breeze to maintain, electric is even easier. There is virtually no cleanup of any kind except for what you’d expect from any other appliance. There are, however, a few minor maintenances you’ll have to keep in mind over the years:
- Just like your stove, microwave, and vanity, you will need to replace your special bulbs every few years. These candelabra bulbs are what gives your fireplace the flame effect.
- Your fireplace will last longer if it is plugged directly into the wall. Do not connect it to an extension cord.
- To avoid serious hazards, give your wiring an inspection every now and then. It’s unlikely that you’ll find exposed wire, but sometimes it happens.
Just like gas and electric, ethanol fireplaces are easy to maintain and don’t produce ash or soot; but they do require a bit more maintenance.
- You may notice buildup on the surface of your fireplace near the flame output. This happens over time. Simply remove it with a wet cloth or with stainless steel cleaner if your fireplace is made with that material. Do this at least once a month or more if you use your fireplace often.
- Clean the inside of the fireplace every so often with a cloth or sponge, making sure not to use any harsh detergents. Mild soaps and hot water will do.
- Clean any ethanol spills right away and wait for the area to dry before igniting.
Wood-burning fireplaces are a lot of work, but the benefits outweigh the burden of maintenance. If the smell of a wood-burning fireplace leaves you weak at the knees, then it’s worth it. Just remember that a well-maintained fireplace (and chimney) will give you a lot fewer problems than a clogged, dirty, or dangerous fireplace.
- Remove cold ash from the fireplace often to avoid buildup.
- After the wood-burning season commences, get your chimney inspected and cleaned.
- Use only dry wood that has been cut and sheltered from rain for at least six months. This prevents excess soot and creosote.
- If it’s your first fire of the year, make a test fire of kindling to ensure that smoke rises and there are no obstructions (like a birds’ nest) in the chimney.
- Practice fire safety at all times. Do not leave your fire unattended and remove all combustible items from the fireplace area.
No matter what colour, style, or heating source, Igne Ferro can build you the fireplace you’ve always wanted. Contact us today for a free quote.