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When the cold winter arrests you in the house and the chilly air storms make you shiver, there’s nothing better than the warm glow and crackle of the wood fire in the fireplace. But, from time to time, you need to spend a couple of hours on fireplace maintenance, to ensure safe and efficient operation. Every task must be done on a regular basis like, we have learned in one of our articles on how to clean home faster sticking to a routine on our blog. According to the professionals, your fireplace needs a proper maintenance with every 40-50 fires or if you have completed burning 4 cords of wood (1 cord is 4x4x8 feet of wood). To maintain a proper routine for fireplace maintenance, here are 8 tips that can be of great help.

Opening the Damper for Fireplace Maintenance

A sophisticated fireplace in a classy room.

Firstly open the damper to inspect the fireplace. The chimney needs to be inspected to check if anything like piled up of leaves or any animal trying to take shelter in the warm confines is blocking it. A flashlight can help you to see if there’s any blockage. If so, it is essential to call up professionals to clean and inspect the fireplace.

Cleaning Ashes, Debris, and Dirt for Fireplace Maintenance

To prevent any kinds of fire hazard, cleaning the debris, dirt, and ashes is an important part of the fireplace maintenance. When the fireplace remains dirty, the air in your home is affected poorly. If you wish to keep the air in your home healthy and clean after lighting the fireplace, you may need to turn to the gas fireplace. When the fire crackles and produces warmth in your home, the smoke created out of it causes air pollution. It emits nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and unstable organic compounds. These toxic gases can have harmful effects on you and your family. So, wood-burning fire inserts or a self-contained unit that fits into the masonry fireplace are the best options to choose.

Reduce Fireplace Pollutants with Green Burning

The woods burning in the fireplace.

The use of composition logs like Java or Duraflame Logs can help in reducing the air pollution at home. The pollutants and smoke produced with these logs are about 50% less than any other woods. If you cannot do without the flaming wood fire, then the best thing to do is to keep away from the smoke exposure as much possible.

Try Minimizing the Smoke – A Great Tips for Fireplace Maintenance

For minimizing the smoke in your fireplace, choose the wood with care and the right one. The dry woods create less smoke but burn efficiently. You must always pick the seasoned that is 6-12 month post splitting or the dry woods. The softwoods like fir and pine dry quicker than the hardwoods like walnut and oak. To make the hardwood dry quickly, you may stack the firewood diagonally, allowing free air circulation. The firewood must be stored in a well-ventilated area, leaving some space from the ground. Do not let the rains spoil it, so keep it covered at the top but leave the sides open. Opt for lighter woods without moisture and the cracked end, dark-colored woods. If the woods show any green sign, it means the wood is not ready for burning.

Ensure What You Are Burning is Safe

Only the non-glossy white papers, manufactured logs, and the clean seasoned woods are safe enough to burn at home. Do not try burning rubber, garbage, plastics, particle board, treated or painted wood, coal, plywood, colored paper, and charcoal briquettes at home. The toxic gases are produced when these items are burnt which can be harmful to your lungs and choke your flue. It is best to discard these items and send it for recycling or collection of garbage.

Initiate with a Small Fire Opening the Damper Wide

When you wish to initiate the fire burning process, it is best to start with small fire using the softwood like fir and pine along with a few crumpled newspaper sheets. When the fire grows enough, add the kindling pieces from time to time for fireplace maintenance.

Check for Combustible Materials

Avoid smoke while lighting the fire in the fireplace.

Prior to lighting the fire in the fireplace, it is always advisable to check the décor and walls for any combustible materials. It is essential to check the area because any combustible material can lead to shattering hazard from fire.

Inspect the Outer Area of the Fireplace Regularly

The outer area of your fireplace must be inspected on a regular basis with a keen eye on the requirements of the repairs around the fireplace chimney. Any brick discoloration or loose bricks or cracks can lead to an accident so fireplace maintenance is a regular inspecting task. When you have a fireplace at home, you must take fireplace maintenance seriously. Any kinds of ignorance can be fatal for your family members and you. Try to keep the above tips in mind to have a clean, healthy and warm atmosphere at home. Acknowledgments: “Featured photo”: by JamesDeMers for source click here. “Picture no.1”: by Keresi72 for source click here. “Photo no.2”: by Rawpixel for source click here. “Photo no.3”: by Joseclaudioguima for source click here.  

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