During the winter months, your fireplace undergoes a lot of use and wear and tear. After the weather warms up, start to consider the extra maintenance that is necessary to keep everything running as smoothly. That being said, you’ll want to approach this care differently based upon the type of fuel you are utilizing. Learn more below! The team at Mason’s Chimney Service is determined to keep you as safe and as comfortable as possible.
Now, in terms of homeowner responsibility, wood-burning fireplaces require the most hands-on attention. First of all, it’s a must that the fuel be properly seasoned, otherwise, acidic water will flow through your chimney and creosote will form at a quicker pace. This means homeowners must store their own wood or ensure the pieces they buy are adequately dried out. All in all, the fuel should be lightweight, dark and split at the ends, and it should sound hollow when smacking two pieces together.
Once your fuel is ready for use, you can build a fire, which must be regularly maintained throughout the evening. Also, be certain your damper is open before lighting anything up. It is also a good idea to prime the flue ahead of time. This means warming it up, so that smoke isn’t pushed down by the cold air in your chimney. Simply roll up a newspaper, light it, and hold it inside of the flue for a few minutes.
You’ll also need to regularly remove ash from the fireplace so that it doesn’t pile up and corrode your fireplace grate. It can also affect how much wood you can put in the fireplace. All in all, a thin layer will help in starting a new fire, but too much causes damage. Periodically disposing of it throughout the burning season it a necessity.
Now, gas-fueled appliances require a lot less maintenance, which is why they have become popular. You still get the warmth and ambiance of a cozy fire, but with less work! Forget about storing wood, maintaining a fire, and scooping messy ash piles. It’s hard to beat that level of convenience!
Yet, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some responsibility required on the part of the homeowner. If you own a gas unit, you should regularly check for signs of rust, flaking, or other damages. Damage to your system can trigger inefficiency or gas leaks, and always make sure your pilot light is on, too. Strange rumbling or grinding noises are also an indication that trouble is amiss, as are strange odors, and you’ll want to make sure no soot is building up.
If you note any issues, don’t wait to call in the professional sweeps here at Mason’s Chimney Service. We’ll be able to find and resolve any issues, so you minimize the risks associated with a faulty gas unit, such as gas leaks and inefficiency.
Electric fireplaces are probably the most affordable options out there, and operating them is as easy as plugging it in and flipping a switch. They’re also great for those with less space or not as many placement options for their fireplace. As long as there’s an outlet nearby, you’ll be good to go! And that means you can move them around in the future if you’re looking to rearrange things eventually.
Electric options require almost no maintenance, either. No clean-up, no chimney usage, and no nasty smoke fumes. Just make sure it gets dusted and cleaned on a regular basis. The most you may have to do is change a bulb or fuse now and then.
No Matter Your Fuel Type, An Inspection Is A Must!
So, there’s obviously a lot that you can do as a homeowner to keep your fireplace in good shape, no matter the fuel type you prefer. Yet, part of being a responsible fireplace owner means putting your system in the hands of a professional now and then. Every fireplace owner should invest in an inspection at least once every year, during which the sweep can check for obstructions, creosote accumulation, damaged parts, masonry deterioration, and more.
Should issues be present, having them addressed right away is essential? Otherwise, you face the risk of experiencing smoke backing up in your home, as well as poisonous fumes, like carbon monoxide, entering and affecting the health of loved ones. There’s also a heightened risk of experiencing a chimney fire or house fire. All in all, keeping your system in tip-top shape is a must when it comes to protecting your home and family!
Schedule An Appointment With Our Crew
Mason’s Chimney Service is Cherry Hill, NJ’s premier chimney and fireplace servicing company, and we would be happy to help with it all. Our reliable crew is CSIA certified, and we work with a number of other organizations that are highly esteemed in our trade, such as the NFI, the HPBA, the NCSG, and more. We are reliable, caring, and we always strive to put your needs first.
Ready to guarantee yourself the best fireplace experience possible? Then, it’s time to rely on us. Call today!