No other source of heat offers the kind of special warmth and ambiance you get from a wood-burning fireplace. It can instantly make your home feel more welcoming, add a touch of architectural interest, and set a subdued mood for a quiet family evening or special gathering – and all while melting the cold away.

And yet a fireplace is more than just a pretty face. It’s a critical part of your home heating system that can pose certain risks if not properly used and maintained. So, keep those fires burning safely by following these important steps.

  1. Prevent creosote build-up and, at the same time, uncover hidden dangers by having your fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.
  1. Have a chimney cap installed to reduce downdrafts and prevent rain, snow, and debris from falling into your chimney.
  1. Keep the mantel and area around the hearth clear of decorations, furniture, upholstery, or any other flammable objects.
  1. Keep the damper closed when the fireplace is not in use to keep warm air from escaping up the chimney.
  1. Never start a fire with flammable liquids, and never burn trash, plastic, or cardboard.
  1. Avoid using soft, wet wood. Season hardwoods for at least 6 months before burning.
  1. Keep remote gas fireplace starters out of reach of children. Also, keep a close watch on small children and pets while the fire is burning.
  1. If your wood-burning fireplace is equipped with glass doors, keep them open to ensure the fire has enough air and to help prevent creosote build-up. Use a metal mesh screen to keep embers from escaping.

On the other hand, if you’ve been lighting fires more and more frequently to help compensate for a deficient home heating system, then it’s time to contact Anthony’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll thoroughly investigate and diagnose the problem, and then recommend one or more ways to heat your home safely, comfortably, and reliably.