Tips For Maintaining A Safe And Efficient Fireplace
With fall just around the corner, you’re no doubt looking forward to using your fireplace again, especially as cooler weather sets in and we get closer and closer to winter. Keeping your fireplace and fireplace tools in good condition will help make your fires more efficient, safe, and enjoyable. Here are some tips for ensuring that your fireplace and fireplace tools are ready to use once the cooler weather has arrived:
Fireplace doors keep in embers from the fire and prevent the warm air in your home from escaping through the chimney. Before you start using your fireplace again, inspect the doors for damage. If there are any cracks on the doors, they are no longer safe or efficient and should be replaced.
Fireplace screens also prevent embers from flying out of the fireplace, and keep children and pets safe from the fire. With use and time, screens can weaken, warp, and become less stable. If your screen wobbles and will no longer rest securely in front of the fireplace, it is time for a new one.
Fireplace Tool Sets
Fireplace tool sets come with a stand to hold the following tools: a poker, brush, shovel, tongs, and bellows. The stand should be sturdy and hold the tools securely. If the tools are rusted, warped, or have loose handles, they will no longer work safely and efficiently to maintain your fire and fireplace. If you need to replace your fireplace tool set, consider sturdy tools with good grips, and deep shovels to quickly clean the fireplace.
Before you start regularly using your fireplace again, test it to make sure it is in good condition. You can do this by lighting some small pieces of wood (from the top down) in your fireplace. If the smoke exits up through the chimney, it is working well. If it exits through the front of your fireplace into your home, the chimney is probably blocked by dirt, build-up, or debris, and your chimney needs to be cleaned.
Make sure to clean the ash from your fireplace when it builds up to the bottom of the grate. This will ensure proper air flow for a better fire. However, you can leave an inch-thick layer of ash in the fireplace to help maintain your fires.
For safety precautions, always make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly, and keep any combustible materials away from your fireplace when you are using it.