A wood-burning fireplace may seem intimidating if you’re a new homeowner, but it’s actually not as complicated as it seems. Once you’ve mastered the process, you won’t make it through one east coast winter without lighting it on a regular basis. Here are several tips to help you make the most of this extraordinary asset.
Using Your Fireplace
While it may be tempting to simply toss on a log and light it up, you want to first make sure that the damper is open. This flap inside your chimney is what allows air in and smoke out. Because fires burn more with the addition of oxygen, you can adjust the opening of the damper to help the flames grow.
Maintaining Your Fireplace
With so much smoke, ash and soot making its way up your chimney, it becomes crucial to keep that area to clean. Too much buildup can result in unwanted fires that may cause irreparable damage. The help of a qualified DC chimney sweep can take care of this maintenance for you once a year to keep the flue in top shape.
Cleaning Your Fireplace
Your chimney sweep can take care of the more demanding task, while you can help decrease buildup by regularly cleaning up the ashes following a fire. Wait a few days to ensure that everything has cooled down and burned off, and then use a small dustpan to sweep any ash into the trash.
Securing Your Fireplace
When you don’t have a fire burning, your chimney becomes an open access point for heat to leave your home. One way to prevent this is to secure your chimney with glass doors on the front. This also adds some protection from flying embers when the fireplace is in use.
Now that you know everything involved in the process of lighting your fireplace, you can take advantage of the heat that natural fire brings to your living areas. You and your family can cozy up in the warmth any day of the year.