Nothing quite compares to cozying up by the fireplace on a cold winter’s night. But before you spark up the logs for the first time this winter, it’s important to follow a number of safety tips. Here are seven recommendations from This Old House.
- Hire a chimney sweep – The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you sweep your chimney at least once a year at the beginning of winter. If you’ve never done this, now is the time to start. A certified chimney sweep will remove potentially dangerous soot and debris.
- Look for damage – The person you hire should not only sweep the chimney, but also inspect the structure itself for cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar. Should they find significant damage, you have some additional work to do before thinking about the fireplace.
- Cap the chimney – One way to keep rain, birds, squirrels, and debris from entering the chimney is by covering the top with a cap. The wire-mesh sides do a great job of keeping things out.
- Burn seasoned hardwoods – Take a moment to think about what type of wood you currently use in your fireplace. Ideally, you want to choose dense wood, such as oak, that’s been split and stored in a high and dry place for six months. Softwoods and green wood, on the other hand, produce more creosote. As you should know, creosote is a flammable byproduct of combustion that builds up in the chimney.
- Be smart making the fire – Mokena residents know that winters are usually unforgiving, and at times, unbearable. On a bitterly cold day, your first thought may be to build a large fire. Keep in mind, though, that an overly hot or large fire can crack the chimney. Pro tip: Stick to small fires that generate less smoke and less creosote buildup.
- Avoid using flammable liquids – How you build the fire makes a world of difference. Place logs at the back of the fireplace on a metal grate. Then use kindling to start the fire. Steer clear of lighter fluid at all costs, even if you’re having difficulty starting the fire.
- Use a spark guard – If you don’t already have one, be sure to invest in a spark guard. It helps prevent errant embers from shooting out with a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace door. A spark guard becomes even more important when the room is unoccupied.
How Our HVAC Contractors Can Help
For nearly two decades, Mokena residents have relied on Allegiance Heating & Cooling. Rest assured that our HVAC contractors will arrive on time, respect your home/property, and get the job done right the first time. Our HVAC repair experts also offer a lifetime guarantee and competitive pricing, regardless of your needs. In addition to fireplace repair, we also provide:
- Boiler service
- Generator repair
- Oil tank removal
- Sump pump repair
- Freon leak detection
- And much more
This year, get back to enjoying the fireplace the way you did in the past. Call Allegiance today to learn more about our heating repair options.