7 Great Ways to get More Enjoyment from Your Fireplace
A fireplace has the potential to be a tremendous joy in winter. Sometimes it takes a little intentionality to appreciate fine things in life, especially when they involve the kind of effort needed to light a fire and keep it going. With some planning, you can take every bit of hum-drum out of the business of keeping the home fires burning in your fireplace. The following are seven ideas for enjoying your fireplace more during wintry seasons.
Pull up some cozy seating and create the perfect crash zone. A handy table should be included, to keep your snacks and drinks on. Make sure there’s a foot rest of some kind, so you can kick your feet up. Soft blankets and throw pillows might also be perfect touches. If reading is a favorite activity, include the perfect lighting to enjoy a good book while basking in the warmth of the fire.
Redecorate the mantel and surround, if you’ve grown tired of the current decorations. If you place some treasured pieces, perhaps photographs or heirlooms, in the hearth area, you’ll get more enjoyment than ever out of sitting by the fireplace.
Eliminate the frustration of fires that don’t get enough air. Buy a special vacuum built specifically to clean ashes out of the fireplace. Whenever it’s time to clean out the ashes, the work can be done with innovative machinery and you won’t have to get dirty shoveling the ash yourself.
Find something to do with your fire besides watch it. Get a fireplace popcorn popper and turn snack time into a real treat. If your fireplace accommodates cooking in a Dutch oven, cook an entire meal right there using your fireplace.
Keep fireplace tools handy and use them the way they were intended to be used. The poker and tongs equip you to rearrange firewood. Fireplace gloves are excellent because you can wear them to place new logs on the fire without risk of getting burned. The shovel and broom are for after the fire goes out. Wait until the ashes are cool and remove them with the shovel. Then use the fireplace broom to sweep up bark, sawdust, and remaining ashes. Your fireplace will look spiffy and ready for a new fire.
Keep your fire-making materials close by. Note that this does NOT include flammable liquids, which should never be used in a fireplace or stove. You should have plenty of tinder and kindling and long matches or a handy fireplace lighter. Newspaper and dryer lint work well as tinder, and small dry sticks and narrow pieces of split softwood make excellent kindling.
You will probably enjoy your fireplace more if it provides sufficient heat to occasionally turn off the central heating in winter. A simple upgrade is to install a cast iron fireback at the back of your fireplace box. The cast iron provides protection and also absorbs heat and then radiates it back into your home. A fireplace insert is more of an investment, but it transforms your fireplace into a viable supplemental heat source. It’s always a pleasure when your winter heating costs are reduced.
A fireplace is one of the most coveted features in a home, and yet it’s natural to fall into lackluster routines sometimes. You’ll get a lot more joy of your fireplace with some thought and planning.
Give us a call at Burlington Fireplace & Solar (262) 763-3522, if you have questions about your fireplace.