There’s nothing like a cozy fire to take the chill off a cold New Jersey winter day. Whether you burn gas or wood, it’s essential to properly prepare your fireplace before you use it for the first time this season. Here’s a fireplace preparation checklist that can help ensure your safety:
Get the Chimney Inspected and Cleaned
Smoke and fumes from your wood-burning or gas fireplace that vent out through the chimney can contain carbon monoxide, so it’s vital to keep it well-maintained by:
- Getting the flue cleaned every year to remove built up soot, creosote and other debris.
- Having the flue liner inspected for deterioration and damage, because cracks in the liner can lead to a house fire.
- Getting the outside of the chimney inspected for cracks and damage to the bricks and mortar that can let in moisture.
- Taking care of any issues found during an inspection before using the fireplace.
Build Wood Fires With Care
Always place logs on a metal grate, and close your firescreen or glass doors to keep sparks and embers from escaping. Have a supply of dry kindling on hand for starting fires, and never use flammable liquids or lighter fluid in the fireplace. Avoid overfilling the firebox too, since this can result in an extremely hot blaze that damages the flue or starts a chimney fire.
Burn Only Well-Seasoned Firewood
If you’ll be using a wood-burning fireplace this winter, make sure that the wood you have on hand was seasoned for 10 to 12 months, so it’s dry. Green or wet wood is not only difficult to light, but it also tends to smolder and smoke more, which causes creosote to accumulate in the chimney and increases the risk of flue fires.
Have Your Gas Fireplace Inspected
Your gas fireplace should be inspected by a trained technician annually. If yours has a blower fan, make sure it’s cleaned to get rid of any dust and debris build up.
For more advice about fireplace preparation and other home heating issues, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, serving Monmouth County and central New Jersey.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Pexels/Pixabay”