We love our fireplaces in the winter but in order for the fireplace to work properly every season, there are some maintenance tasks as well as things to avoid doing. It is not uncommon for people to start fires the wrong way or burn things that should not be put into the fireplace. Here are just a few tips to make sure you properly care for your fireplace this winter.
- Only Burn What Is Supposed to be Burned – it may seem like a great idea to throw that plastic wrapper into the fire instead of getting up and going to the trash can, but this can cause serious issues inside the chimney. Remember, it is not a landfill, it is your fireplace!
- Do Not Use Fire Starters – yes, it can get frustrating if you are unable to get your fire started right away, but that is no excuse to soak the wood with lighter fluid. There are some fire starters that are recommended for indoor use, and you should only use these if you are looking for aid in starting up your indoor fire.
- Clean the Fireplace – do not allow ashes and such to buildup up inside the fireplace. Once the fire is out and cooled, the fireplace should be swept out before its next use. We are not going to say that you should be able to eat off the floor, but it should look clean and presentable before building another fire.
- Always Use a Fireplace Screen – dried woods can crack and push embers out of the fireplace when they do so. This can be extremely dangerous and is a primary reason that you should have a screen in place. This will also prevent the kids from throwing something into the fire. As a matter of fact, it is a good idea to have the screen or cage closed and secured in place at all times, even when the fireplace is not in use.