submitted by Matt Halper, Owner, American Chimney
While there isn’t much use for a fireplace in the warmer months, it’s a great time to insure that it’s ready for the winter season. Of all home-heating fires in the U.S., 42% of them involve fireplaces and chimneys. Things to consider having done in the off-season:
1 – Schedule a Chimney Inspection
A professional chimney sweep can inspect the inside of your chimney for damage, moisture leaks, inefficiency, blockage, cracks, and more.
2 – Schedule a Chimney Cleaning
Cleaning is usually needed with moderate use of a fireplace that burns logs because creosote is deposited every time there is a fire. Sooty, tar-like creosote is highly flammable.
3 – Close the Damper
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, be sure the damper is closed when the fireplace is not in use. The damper is used to seal off the flow of air between the chimney and the home and to insure heat and air conditioning isn’t being lost to the outside. If you have a gas fireplace, experts recommend that you keep the damper open at all times, to prevent gas from building up in your home, in the event of a gas leak.
4 – Install a Chimney Cap
A chimney cap should top every chimney. This affordable appliance, when complete with mesh, keeps moisture out, keeps animals and birds out, prevents debris from entering the chimney, and serves as a spark guard, so that hot embers won’t catch the roof and other combustible materials on fire.
5 – Clean out the Ashes
If you leave ash and soot in the fireplace during the off- season, you may be lowering your air quality and exposing your home to foul odors.
6 – Upgrade your Fireplace
Glass doors and fireplace liners are just two of numerous ways to get more efficiency out of your fireplace.