Tips for Using Your Fireplace This Winter

November 22, 2017 3:01 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There’s no image more picturesque than sitting with friends and family around a crackling fire. Maybe you’re sipping a hot chocolate or unwrapping presents on Christmas morning. The fireplace is an integral part of the winter and holiday season. In addition to providing a welcoming ambience, fireplaces are also an economical alternative for heating your home.

Unfortunately, this wonderful feature can also be incredibly dangerous if used incorrectly. Approximately 42 percent of heating-related house fires are caused by a fireplace or chimney. Following proper safety procedures when starting, tending and extinguishing the fire is critical for keeping a warm winter memory from turning into a terrible disaster.

Luckily, you can easily keep your family safe by following these simple tips when using your fireplace this winter, and remembering to call fireplace services in Seattle, WA for seasonal maintenance.

Preparing the fireplace

Your indoor fireplace likely didn’t get a lot of use during the summer months. That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to ensure it is ready for the busy season. First, have the chimney swept in the late fall to remove any lingering soot or debris. During this service, the chimney sweep will note any concerns, which will need to be fixed as soon as possible. Next, check inside the structure for any cracks or missing bricks, in addition to inspecting the gasket material and the damper. The blower should also be cleaned to prevent any accidental buildup.

Finish off your pre-season inspection by capping the chimney to keep bird and squirrel intruders out. Once that is completed, you should be all set to light your fireplace on the first big freeze of the season!

Using the fireplace

Knowing how to properly use your fireplace is key to an enjoyable and safe experience. Stick to dense, seasoned firewood that has been stored in a dry place for approximately six months for the best results. Wood with a moisture reading exceeding more than 20 percent won’t burn well. Avoid overloading your chimney with too much wood, as larger fires result in more smoke, which will lead to a buildup of creosote and cracks in the chimney lining.

Cleaning up after

Remember to never leave a fire unattended. Make sure the flames and coals are completely extinguished before you turn in for the night to keep your loved ones safe. Schedule fireplace services in Seattle, WA at least once per year to ensure your fireplace is safe to operate and won’t cause any adverse health or environmental effects. A clean chimney and fireplace provides better draft and reduces the risk of accidental chimney fires.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends using the cleanest wood-burning fireplace possible, which means it is likely time to upgrade your home fireplace. Custom Fire Art can help you design a beautiful fireplace to match your home that produces less smoke, burns efficiently and creates minimal ash. Call us today to learn more about how our fireplace services in Seattle, WA can help you better prepare for winter!

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