Archive for December, 2013

Taking care of your fireplace

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Taking care of your fireplaceA well lit fire in your fireplace can make your living room look beautiful, not even mentioning how helpful it is to save you from the cold. But to have a safe fire, maintaining the fireplace as well as the chimney is extremely important.

You must have your chimney checked and cleaned by a professional at least once a year. If you keep the fire on with wood, it might be advisable to check the chimney even more frequently. A chimney fire can destroy an entire house, hence maintaining and cleaning it is extremely important. The best time to get your chimney checked is before the burning season every year. If a chimney fire does take place, make sure everyone gets out of the house and immediately call the fire department.

Chimney fires are mostly caused by creosote. Creosote deposits are formed from flammable, unburned tar vapours which come out of wood smoke. Slow, long burns or using wet or green wood can form such dangerous creosote deposits.

A good fire needs not only a functional appliance, but a good fuel too. Use seasonal firewood (wood that has been kept covered for most part of the year) for the best results. Season the wood that you will be using to raise the fire under cover, but make sure it gets proper airflow.

Green wood or unseasoned wood has very high moisture content and hence does not burn well; Hardwoods such as oak burn better than softwoods. Hardwoods will give you better performance and a longer burn time.

Newspapers are great to light a fire, but they can never be a replacement to firewood. Use the amount required to start the fire and then recycle the rest.

A fireplace is there to provide comfort and warmth. Having knowledge on how to take care of your fire place gives you these desired effects instead of smoke, house fires, bad odours. At the end of the day it is all part of taking care of your house.