A fireplace is undoubtedly one of the best ways of bringing heat into your home. The wealth of warmth that a fire can bring is incredible. It will make your house feel extremely cozy and comfortable.
Furthermore, it is also one of the most cost-effective methods as well – especially when you consider the rising energy bills in the current day and age. And, who can deny the beautiful character a working fireplace brings to any property? It is full of personality and tradition.
However, whilst all of these qualities are indeed fantastic, you do have a duty to uphold. This is a duty to ensure you utilise your fireplace safely. This article aims to give you a helping hand with that by providing you with some top tips for doing so.
Cap the chimney
First and foremost, let’s begin with capping the chimney. This comes highly recommended. Opt for a cap that boasts wire-mesh sides. This is important because it will cover the top of the chimney. As a result, it stops any debris, birds, and rain from entering and thus you have a much more controlled environment.
Use seasoned wood
Purchasing your wood carefully is imperative. The importance of purchasing seasoned logs for your property is something that cannot be stressed enough. Seasoned wood has been dried for at least six months. If you use fresh wood it will contain far too much moisture and so not only will the fire produced by largely ineffective but it can be erratic and consequently unsafe as well.
It takes a mere five minutes to check your fireplace. However, this is something that most homeowners fail to do. Make sure you dedicate the time to checking your fireplace for damage. It is extremely important and can ensure no disasters arise. You would not be able to claim with a public adjuster if a fire was your fault. So, what should you be looking for? Any missing mortar, any loose bricks and any cracks to the structure. In addition to this, checking the chimney liner is advised as well – look out for any deterioration or cracks.
Professional chimney sweeping
It is important to ensure you have your chimney swept. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association advises everybody to ensure they have a chimney sweep at least once a year. It is best to have this service at the beginning of the winter. By doing this you will get rid of all of the debris and soot.
Last but not least, don’t chuck ten logs into the fireplace. Be cautious. Overloading your fireplace is extremely damaging for the obvious reasons – the fire will become too hot and as a result, cracks can begin to appear in the chimney. Not only is this unsafe but it can prove to be very costly for you as well. Instead, start off with a small fire. This will produce less creosote build-up because of minimised smoke. If you then need to you can, of course, add another log. But never chuck loads on, to begin with – there is no need.
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