How To Prepare Your Fireplace For Winter

Although it’s July and hotter than Hades, winter is always just around the corner.  The summer days at the lake or on the golf course and going to give way to chilly days where all you’ll want to do is curl up next to the fire with a good book, and it’s important to make sure that your fireplace is ready.  In order to prep your fireplace, there are some important maintenance considerations you will need to tackle for both wood-burning and gas units.  These steps will ultimately save you time and money, while providing you peace of mind.

Wood Burning Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces are beautiful and create an unsurpassed ambience in your home.  They’re also  higher-maintenance, and require a little bit more work to make sure they’re in good standing.

The first thing you will want to do is to clean up any ashes and soot in the fireplace.  Cleaning up the ashes not only keeps the air quality fresh, but will specifically keep soot from blowing throughout your home once you close the damper, which severely restricts outward airflow from your home.

The next step is to close the aforementioned damper.  Leaving the damper open exposes your home to drafts, leaks from rainstorms, and uninvited guests paying you a visit, such as birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other unpleasant friends. A closed damper also helps with energy costs, as your A/C won’t be drawn out of your home.

The third step is the most critical of all, which is to schedule a fireplace inspection and/or cleaning.  Regular inspections and cleanings from a reputable fireplace repair company, such as Ignite Fireplace, are universally recommended, if not required, for all fireplaces. Ignite Fireplace’s technicians will perform an inspection, which entails checking chimneys and flues for cracks or leaks, as well as examining the damper and chimney cap to make sure they are in working order.

Upon completion of the inspection, Ignite Fireplace’s technician will clean your fireplace and flue, including the removal of built-up creosote.  Creosote accumulation is not to be taken lightly, and it’s critically important to make sure it’s addressed.  Creosote is extremely flammable, but regularly scheduled cleanings will keep your home safe.

Gas Fireplaces and Gas Logs

Although gas fireplaces are not as intensive as wood-burning fireplaces, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own specific set of steps to ensure that they’re properly cared for and maintained.

For a direct vent fireplace, remove and clean the glass panel using hearth appliance glass cleaners. Whatever you do, avoid using standard glass cleaning products, especially those that contain ammonia.  You will also want to remove any accumulated soot, which can be done with a dry paintbrush.

If your fireplace has a standing pilot, you may choose to turn it off in the summer months. Turning the pilot off can save you some money in energy costs, and obviously reduces the possibility of a gas leak when the unit is not being used. Please be aware of what is entailed in turning your pilot back on.  It’s possible it’s simple, but if not, make sure you take the proper precautions in contacting a service professional.   Also be aware of spider webs in the pilot tubes that may accumulate if you turn the pilot off.  A service call may run you more than leaving your pilot on all summer.

Lastly, schedule an annual fireplace maintenance with a professional service technician from Ignite Fireplace.  The burner and other components of a gas fireplace require detailed inspections.

A well-maintained fireplace should give you and your family years of dedicated service.  Whether you’re looking for an annual inspection and/or cleaning, or you have repairs that need to be performed on your fireplace, give Ignite Fireplace a call to service your unit.  We are a locally-owned and operated company that offers best-in-class fireplace repair in Salt Lake City, Utah and surrounding cities.  Our technicians are knowledgeable, and bring years of experience and expertise.  Give us a call today!

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