Tips to Keep Your Fireplace Running Efficiently
The only thing better in winter than the wonderful ambiance of crackling fires in a fireplace is when that fireplace also runs efficiently. No smoke goes into the home during fires because the chimney draft operates as it should. This is a nice scenario, but many people have a fireplace that does not work properly. Check out the following tips to ensure an efficient fireplace this winter.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection & Cleaning
A chimney needs to be inspected by chimney sweep experts every year, according to leading fire safety groups. Cleaning is usually needed annually, as well. Without regular cleaning, mucky creosote layers can obstruct the flue, preventing combustion gases from exiting through the chimney. Creosote is highly flammable and increases the possibility of a hazardous chimney fire.
Following a chimney inspection, expert technicians provide a report detailing any problems with the chimney or fireplace. Repairs may be needed–most likely due to moisture. Bricks are highly porous and susceptible to damage.
If either the chimney flue or firebox shows signs of deterioration, repairs should be made before using the fireplace again. Both of these fireplace components protect occupants of the home from out-of-control fires and exposure to toxic gases.
Maintain Proper Airflow
A sufficient amount of air is needed for a fire to burn hot, which is more efficient than a lackluster fire. Ashes should be removed so that there is only 1 inch of ash on the floor of the firebox. Keeping an inch of ash helps because it creates insulation. If, however, the ash is layered up to the fireplace grate, the fire cannot get adequate air.
Burn Only Seasoned Firewood
It’s impossible to have an efficient fire if you burn green wood. Cut, stacked logs usually need six months to a year to dry out sufficiently. Low-moisture wood is referred to as “seasoned” firewood. When you burn seasoned wood, the fire provides more warmth because the energy isn’t wasted burning out excess moisture. Green wood also leaves greater amounts of creosote behind in the flue, necessitating more frequent chimney cleaning.
Consider Fireplace Insert Installation
If you are determined to improve fireplace efficiency, the best step is to have a fireplace insert installed. With a fireplace insert, your appliance will go from about 10% efficiency at best to upwards of 80%. When a fireplace insert is installed, it’s like converting to a well-insulated wood stove. You can count on an oft-used fireplace insert to contribute significantly to home heating, which means you’ll have a lower utility bill.
Contact Burlington Fireplace & Heating
You’ve got a professional team of highly trained NFI-certified chimney experts ready to serve you at Burlington Fireplace & Solar / Heating. To enjoy greater fireplace efficiency this winter, you may need a chimney inspection, chimney repair, or chimney cleaning. Whether you need chimney maintenance services or fireplace insert installation, Burlington Fireplace has you covered. Contact us today at 262-763-3522 if you have questions or want to schedule chimney services and/or fireplace insert installation.