Fireplace Maintenance and Fireplace Inserts

By kevinkobwebb on January 21, 2011 In Home Improvement

Using a fireplace can be hard work but it is really great when you snuggle up to it with a good book on a cold winter night. Whether you are buying a fireplace or just looking to begin using yours, you’ll want to be sure to do a few things before you get started, just to insure that all goes well.

Buying a fireplace for your home takes thought and planning. First, you’ll need to be aware of and meet the fire code in your area. You’ll need to select the proper location, have enough ventilation installed and hire a professional to do the main installation work. This will insure the safety and compliance of your fireplace from the start.

If you own a fireplace but have not used it, it is critical to have someone come out and check it out before you use it. You’ll need to insure that the top is vented properly, that nothing is blocking the vents and that it is safe enough to use with proper draft and no chimney build up.

Once you get the fireplace working, make sure to purchase only quality wood for it. The wood should be aged at least a year from being cut in order to make sure that it will not overly smoke. Often, landscaping stores will sell it to you but make sure you shop around to get a good price. It’s not all the same or the same price. If you go for store bought bundles of wood, you are likely to pay quite a bit more.

When you place wood into the fireplace, you’ll need to make sure it fits properly and that the fireplace doors will close. If you do not have doors, a screen is needed to keep sparks from hitting carpeting or other flammable objects nearby.

Keep the draft vent or damper open. When you are using the fireplace, it needs to be open to allow for the smoke to escape. If you leave it open when not in use, though, you’ll feel a cold or drafty wind. Make it a habit of reviewing to insure it is open before lighting any matches and closed tightly after use.

It is also central for you to watch what you burn. Not all things that can burn should be burnt because they will give off harmful toxins. Only burn wood and newspaper like items or manufactured logs in your fireplace.

Keep the fireplace clean by removing ash after each fire. Once a year, have it cleaned by a chimney professional. This is low cost insurance for making sure you completed to remove chimney build up.

Taking better care of your fireplace is essential to keeping it in good working order. You do not do want to risk the family members to fire dangers. Using your fireplace correctly can help to lower heating bills and provide a wonderful atmosphere.

There are many safe and clean alternatives to burning wood. The best gas and electric fireplace inserts can provide warmth and charm without all the mess of wood burning.

Tom Severson writes frequently about fireplace inserts at