How to care for your chimney
Keeping warm during the cold, harsh winter can be difficult. This is where having a fireplace can help a lot. Having a fireplace can save you money on heating bills and keep your whole house or parts of it warm. A lot of people worry that fireplace and chimney care will be an added expense, but in actuality, it’s only a fraction of what electric heat costs! While a yearly cleaning from a professional service is recommended to fully get the most out of your fire place, there are some smaller things you can do to clean and ensure your chimney is in the best shape it can be all winter along.
1. Have Your Chimney Inspected.
Have your chimney swept and inspected at least once a year or after you have used the fireplace 70 times. This makes sure the chimney is safe, secure, and ready for use and can avoid any possibilities of dangers that can occur when a fireplace is not cleaned properly.
Use a chimney cap to protect your chimney from water damage, animal inhabitants, and garbage collection. Chimney caps are a must for any chimney as they help with preventing blockage, that could lead to carbon monoxide flowing into your house (and that’s bad!). Also, use a spark arrester to stop any sparks from hopping out, which could lead to a fire starting on the lawn or on the roof.
3. Measure Your Chimney Duct.
Be sure to evaluate the sides of your chimney from the bottom and climb a ladder to measure it from the top. Determine the dimensions of the duct. It should be in an 8-inch circle or square. If it is not, you may want to contact a company to come look at it and make sure it will vent your fire place well enough and not cause any backdraft or clogging.
Chimney cleaning logs provide hassle-free cleaning by burning the soot away. The logs discharge chemicals that dissolve the creosote, allowing you to simply collect it in a dustpan. It’s a money-saving method, but cannot be substituted for extensive cleaning.
5. Wait At Least Three Days before Cleaning Up.
Wait at least 3 days before you start to clean up the ashes because the coals are hot enough to start a fire. Also, if you wait three days the air will travel up in the chimney and will not fly out in the room (which saves you having to clean a second mess). Make sure to wear a mask and open up the windows to avert negative air pressure.
6. Clean the Chimney.
To shine up the a slate hearth, rinse, dry, and rub it with lemon oil every six weeks. For external cleaning, purchase a brick cleaner from a fire shop.
7. Do Not Burn the Hearth for Long Intervals.
Just like you, we know how great it can be to relax and enjoy a cozy fire on a cold night. But one of the most common mistakes is using a fire place for too long. A fireplace is not a boiler and leaving it running for hours on end can lead to issues inside the chimney. Use your fireplace for 4 to 5 hours at a time, at most.
8. Keep the Glass Doors Open.
Keep the glass doors open so the air can cool the chimney by travelling upwards. Ensure you fasten the screen to avoid the fire sparks from hopping out onto the carpet.
9. Clean Up the Fire Container.
Area Sweep or vacuum the fire container area at least once a week, especially when the ash increases. Leave some ash because it acts as a shield, heats the coal faster, and holds the heat better.
10. Get Rid Of Tough Stains on the Glass Doors.
Glass doors may build up stains that are hard to remove. To fix the glass doors, ensure they are cool and scratch off the slime with a razor blade. Wipe the glass with dishwashing detergent or a glass cleaner and wipe it away.
Cleaning and maintaining a chimney is important because if you don’t, it could lead to a host of problems, including health issues. This is why it is important you maintain your chimney.
However, if you do not have the time to do all of this yourself, call in professional chimney cleaners at least once every 6 months. The more you use your chimney, the more frequently you need to maintain it so it serves your needs perfectly.