Should I Close My Fireplace For the Summer?
Summer is here and it’s time to kick back and relax by taking vacations, getting out into nature, or simply enjoying life in the backyard. Since your fireplace doesn’t get used during summer, you may wonder if you should close it for the summer. In this post, we’ll answer that question and give tips on keeping your fireplace safe during summer and when to begin preparing it for winter.
Should I Close My Fireplace?
The short answer is yes. The primary reason to close your fireplace’s damper during summer is to protect it from humidity and any extreme weather events that are commonplace during this season. Closing the damper also prevents critters from getting in and setting up their homes, which can cause flue blockage, poor airflow, and foul odors.
Steps to Prepare Your Fireplace
When we speak of closing the fireplace, we mean closing the damper, the vent inside the fireplace that you open when burning a fire to allow the gas and combustible materials to vent outside. When the fire goes out, you close it to keep the heat inside. However, during summer, since you’re not using the fireplace, many people think that leaving the damper open is the right thing to do. Many myths surround this theory, including allowing the fireplace to “air out.” So, the rule regarding the damper is to keep it closed for summer. But, what else can you do to prepare your fireplace for months of inactivity?
Clean the Firebox
If you rely on your fireplace as a primary heat source during winter, there’s a good chance it’s plenty dirty once summer arrives. Clean the firebox by vacuuming the ashes and removing creosote and other buildups along the walls and lower portions of the flue.
Schedule Professional Cleaning
Summer is an ideal time to schedule chimney cleaning from a reputable chimney sweep. Most people wait until late fall or early winter to perform this chore, but by then, most companies are fully booked, making it difficult to schedule an appointment. Taking care of it during summer ensures you can get it done according to your schedule and means you won’t have to worry about it later.
Turn Off the Pilot Light
If you have a gas-powered fireplace, turn off the pilot light for the summer to conserve energy and prevent sulfur buildup that can damage the burner.
Inspect the Logs
Another tip for gas fireplace owners is to clean the logs and inspect them for excessive wear or damage. There are two main kinds of gas logs: vented and ventless. Vented logs use a venting system, while ventless don’t. Regardless of which logs you have, they can wear out over time. Vented logs can last up to ten years, while ventless logs last up to five, depending on how well-maintained they are.
Close the Damper
As mentioned, you should close the damper for the summer. Most masonry chimneys have a damper installed right above the firebox, while some fireplaces use a top-mounted damper installed at the top of the chimney. Once closed, ensure the seal is as airtight as possible to protect the fireplace from water damage.
Schedule an Inspection
While you’re hiring a professional chimney service to clean your chimney, ask them to conduct a thorough inspection too. Winter in this part of the country can be particularly harsh and cause significant damage to your chimney that will get worse over time the longer they go un-repaired.
Why Mercer County Chimney Service?
Mercer County Chimney Service is the go-to fireplace and chimney cleaning, inspection, and repair company in Mercer County, NJ. Our technicians are fully licensed and insured to install new fireplaces, stoves, and inserts for your home comfort needs.
Whether you need routine chimney sweeping, maintenance, inspection, or repair or are interested in installing a fireplace, our experts can help you every step of the way. We’re certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institutes, so you can rest easy knowing you’re in capable hands. Contact us today with questions or to book an appointment at 609-802-5288, and please read our current customer reviews to see what your friends and neighbors think about our work.