Enjoy Your Outdoor Fireplace All Year Long!
Outdoor fireplaces are one of the “hot” trends in outdoor living spaces these days. Not only do they look fantastic, they also can add to the resale value of your home and, of course, many styles are excellent at producing heat. The key to enjoying your outdoor fireplace all year long is good maintenance.
In Wisconsin, most days in the dead of winter are best spent inside the house. But still we get some moderate days when “cabin fever” coupled with a break in the weather forces us to get outside and enjoy the clean air. And of course many more nice days come along in the early spring and late fall, when an outdoor fireplace makes a perfect centerpiece for brunches, parties or simply relaxing.
Important maintenance for outdoor fireplaces
No matter how much and how often you use your outdoor fireplace, it’s important to keep it maintained and in good working order. The fall is a good time for this task. You can do some of the work yourself, while other jobs are best left to a professional. Here are some basic maintenance projects that should be done annually.
For wood-burning fireplaces, have the chimney inspected. A certified chimney sweep will be able to discover if there are cracks or gaps in the brick and if the flue is in any way damaged and needs repair. Spotting these problems early will save money being spent on a costly rebuild.
Burning wood creates smoke, which sends creosote into the chimney. Creosote buildup is a major factor in chimney fires, because it is flammable. Depending on how much you use your outdoor fireplace, a thorough chimney cleaning every year or every other year is a smart idea.
For gas fireplaces, you should check all the gas line connections to make sure there are no leaks.
As the months roll on, things can get into your chimney. A good chimney cap will prevent some of this, but not all. Little animals love making nests inside chimneys. Small particles of debris in blowing wind can end up in the chimney. For safety and proper operation, a chimney should be kept clean and free of foreign objects.
Which type of outdoor fireplace is best?
Wood fireplaces: The traditional wood fireplace is loved by many for the brilliant, natural flames produced by logs coupled with the pleasant aroma of burning wood. These fireplaces can be used any time of year as long as you have logs and a way to get a fire stated. There is a fair amount of work involved such as finding or buying wood, hauling it, storing it in a dry pace, and extra cleaning in and around the unit, but for some homeowners, it’s all worth it.
Gas fireplace: With a gas fireplace, operation is very simple – just turn on a switch and you’ve got fire. Modern log sets closely resemble actual wood logs in both shape and texture, so the fire will look authentic. Gas fireplaces need less cleaning and maintenance than the wood variety. If simplicity is your goal, go with gas.
Burlington Fireplace of Wisconsin encourages owners of outdoor fireplaces to use them often and enjoy them for the reasons you originally had them installed. In just about any month of the year, a well-maintained, clean and fully functional outdoor fireplace is a welcome addition to a backyard living space.
See a full line of great outdoor fireplaces in our showroom at 857 Milwaukee Ave. in Burlington. Or call (262) 763-3522 with questions.