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.
- Prevent creosote build-up and, at the same time, uncover hidden dangers by having your fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.
- Have a chimney cap installed to reduce downdrafts and prevent rain, snow, and debris from falling into your chimney.
- Keep the mantel and area around the hearth clear of decorations, furniture, upholstery, or any other flammable objects.
- Keep the damper closed when the fireplace is not in use to keep warm air from escaping up the chimney.
- Never start a fire with flammable liquids, and never burn trash, plastic, or cardboard.
- Avoid using soft, wet wood. Season hardwoods for at least 6 months before burning.
- 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.
- 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.