Your fireplace may not be top of mind during the glorious heat of summer. It is the perfect time to get your off-season maintenance completed so you’re ready to go once cold season rolls around again. In this post we will cover 5 tips for off-season fireplace maintenance.
5 Tips for Off-Season Fireplace Maintenance
Regular inspections and maintenance keep your wood burning fireplace safe and efficient. Getting into a yearly habit of fireplace maintenance will pay you back warmly in the winter months.
Have Your Chimney Inspected and Cleaned
Every time a fire burns in your fireplace creosote is deposited in the chimney. Creosote is highly flammable and a large buildup can cause a chimney fire. In this worst case this can actually spread to your home. Over 40% of house fires begin due to a chimney fire, so keeping the flue clean is a serious matter.
Other than mitigating any risks, chimney cleaning also ensures a good draft. This is essential for proper operation of your wood fireplace. It helps keep the smoke out of your house and helps your fires burn more efficiently.
The best way to keep the flue clean is to schedule yearly off-season fireplace maintenance.
Friendly Fires has licensed technicians who have many years of experience cleaning chimneys. An experienced technician can spot things that may escape the notice of do-it-yourselfers.
During an inspection, the service technician will check your chimney system for signs of moisture leaks, deterioration, damage, cracks, obstructions, and much more.
Even small cracks in the flue lining can expose your home to a possible fire. Heat from the fire may be able to reach combustable materials through the creak. Professional chimney technicians have the tools and knowhow to ensure that the flue lining is in good condition.
Off-Season Fireplace Maintenance : Remove Ash
Removing ash from your fireplace gives the fireplace a clean and tidy look during the off-season. It also can prevent lingering odours.
Visit our Wood Fireplace Accessories Page to view our Ash Buckets, Brushes, tools sets, and more.
Fireplace Maintenance : Clean Air Tubes
If you have a two stage burn fireplace part of your off-season fireplace maintenance should be to remove and clean the secondary air tubes. These are generally located in the top of the fireplace burn chamber.
Check your user manual for how to remove them as they each have their own tips and tricks for removal. Ensure the air tubes are clean and free of blockages. These can prevent the fire from burning as efficiently as possible.
Over time your air tubes may become damaged and need to be replaced. If so Friendly Fires stocks replacement air tubes for a wide range of stoves & fireplaces. Visit our Wood Replacement Parts Page for more information.
Fireplace Maintenance : Clean Your Glass
Now is also a good time to give your fireplace glass a good cleaning. Ensure to clean both sides of the glass using a soft cloth and fireplace glass cleaner.
It is very important not to use traditional glass cleaners on your fireplace glass.
These can leave chemical residue on the glass that can release noxious smells or even cause permanent damage to the glass once the fireplace is restarted.
Time for a Fireplace Insert?
Traditional masonry fireplaces are not very efficient heaters. If your home has a masonry fireplace you may want to consider upgrading to a fireplace insert.
Fireplace inserts are heavily insulated and can fit inside your existing fireplace. With a fully closing door on the front Inserts create a much more efficient burning environment.
With a wood burning insert or a gas insert you can preserve the look of your existing fireplace but make it much more efficient, and provide more heat to you home. This can result in a great savings in your utility costs as well as you won’t need to run the central heating as often.
Install a Chimney Cap
If your chimney doesn’t have a cap you will want to look into adding one. Chimney caps protect your chimney from moisture, which can cause damage to your flue.
Mesh chimney caps can also prevent small animals and debris from getting inside the chimney which can lead to a range of problems. Finally, mesh on the chimney cap can help prevent sparks from the chimney from igniting nearby combustibles.
By following these steps during the off-season you can make sure that your fireplace is ready to go when the first cold day hits.
Please let us know if you have any questions at all about care and maintenance of your chimney in the comments below!