Top Tips to Prepare Your Chimney For Fall
As summer draws to a close, many people prepare for those upcoming chilly evenings where they can snuggle up to a roaring fire. But, before you light your first fire of the season, it’s wise to get your fireplace and chimney ready for the rough winter ahead. This post delves into the top tips to prepare your chimney and fireplace for work.
It’s normal for people to allow clutter to build up around the fireplace during the summer. Whether it’s your children’s or pet’s toys, furniture, or decorations, it’s easy for the area around your fireplace to get messy. The first step to preparing your fireplace for fall and winter is to clean the area around it, ensuring there’s nothing flammable and nothing someone could trip over.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning & Maintenance
If you used your fireplace frequently last winter, there’s probably a good amount of creosote and ash built up in the flue. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, most chimney fires are caused by a dirty chimney. Burning wood releases byproducts that stick to the chimney lining and build up over time called creosote. Creosote is corrosive, can damage the flue liner, and is highly flammable. So, before lighting your fire this season, schedule a thorough cleaning before fall arrives. Another benefit to scheduling chimney cleaning before fall is that it allows you to detect and repair minor damage like cracks and blockages that can impede your fireplace performance and make operating your fireplace safer.
Inspect the Gasket
If your fireplace or stove has glass doors, inspect the gasket seal. Faulty gaskets can allow too much oxygen to get in, reducing your fire’s performance and efficiency.
Inspect the Damper
The fireplace damper is a metal plate that regulates airflow. Because its metal, it’s prone to corrosion, which can cause it to fail. Inspect the damper to ensure it’s in good working condition, and call a chimney professional if it’s not.
Gather Your Firewood
Early fall is the perfect time to gather the firewood you’ll use throughout the colder months. Experts recommend using seasoned firewood for best results, which is wood that has been properly split and stored in a dry environment for at least six months.
Green firewood, or wood with too much moisture, creates more smoke and creosote and doesn’t burn as efficiently as seasoned wood.
Double Check Your Gas Fireplace
While a gas fireplace doesn’t require as much maintenance as a wood-burning one, you must still inspect it every season before firing it up. Call a professional to inspect and clean the blower, examine the airways and pilot, and go over the whole system to ensure it’s in good working order.
Perform a Household Safety Check
We can’t stress how crucial it is to ensure your home is safe and ready for fireplace use. This means checking the smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re functional and that your fire extinguisher is in order. Also, consider installing a
screen or hearth gate to prevent accidents if you have pets or young kids.
Hire a Reputable Chimney Sweep
Finally, it’s wise to hire a reliable, licensed, insured, and experienced chimney sweep to inspect, repair, and clean your fireplace and chimney to prepare it for winter. Hiring a good chimney sweep gives you peace of mind knowing that your system is as safe as possible and ready to provide your family with months of heat and joy.
About Mercer County Chimney Service
Mercer County Chimney Service offers top-rated chimney services in Hamilton, NJ, and Mercer County. Our technicians are fully licensed, insured, and trained in fireplace and chimney cleaning, repairs, rebuilding and inspections, stove and insert installation, and more. We’re certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute. Get your fireplace and chimney fall and winter ready by calling us today at 609-802- 5288.