During a northern Ohio winter, a fireplace not only adds supplemental heating to your home, it helps create a cozy, homey atmosphere for your enjoyment. Whether you use gas or wood as fuel, your fireplace will need preparation before use. Here are four fireplace preparation tips that can ensure a safer season:
1. Check and clean the chimney.
Before starting the first fire this season, your chimney and fireplace should be inspected by a professional. A chimney sweep will look for damaged bricks or mortar, problems with vent pipes, and other issues that could create fire hazards or keep smoke and exhaust gases from being vented properly to the outdoors. Chimneys should also be scrubbed to remove any accumulations of soot. Be sure to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when the chimney is cleaned.
2. Put on a chimney cap.
A wire mesh chimney cap creates a barrier that keeps animals such as birds or squirrels from getting into your chimney and building nests. Chimney caps also keep leaves, sticks, and other material from getting into the chimney flue and creating clogs.
3. Install a spark guard.
Open flames of any sort inside your home must be treated with caution, and that is especially true with fireplaces. Put in a spark guard that will stop sparks, hot embers, or even small flaming pieces of wood from being ejected into your home. If these land on a carpet or among flammable material such as paper, the results could be disastrous.
4. Check the dampers.
Chimney dampers control how much air gets to the fire in the fireplace. They are also opened to allow smoke from the fire to escape up the chimney. Check and test the dampers to make sure they work properly and won’t accidentally close. Make sure the dampers are opened before you start a fire in the fireplace.
Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning, and Plumbing backs its services with more than 90 years of experience in the HVAC industry. Contact us today for more information on fireplace preparation and how to make sure your fireplace is safe for operation throughout the winter.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about home safety and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.
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