7 WAYS TO PROPERLY MAINTAIN YOUR CHIMNEY AND FIREPLACE
While it’s best to let a pro like 1800 Chimney inspect and clean the chimney, there are six things homeowners can do to improve their fireplace experience.
- Clean the ashes from the fireplace as they build up. Don’t let them accumulate over an inch.
- Gather firewood about a year in advance to properly season it. Cover it in the winter and rain. When not properly seasoned it results in less-flammable material collecting in the chimney.
- If buying wood, Check it out, and split some open. Ask the seller if it’s seasoned and check to make sure it is.
- Make sure the damper is fully open before lighting a fire in the fireplace.
- Burn nothing in the fireplace except dry firewood or CSIA-accepted manufactured logs. Never burn pressure-treated or painted wood. These have glues and chemicals added. It can be poisonous to you and the environment and leave nasty residue in your chimney. These chemicals will decrease the life of your existing chimney.
- Make sure your fire is getting enough air. Burn fires that consume the wood. Burning wet or poor-quality wood results in slow cooler fires thus more creosote builds up in the flue.
- Top-down burn method – Sometimes referred to as an upside-down fire. This burns hotter, and cleaner and produces less smoke than traditional fire-building methods. Place the largest logs on the bottom of the fireplace, then add a cross-layer of smaller logs. Next, add some crushed newspaper and top it all with 1 inch of kindling. Light the newspaper, sit back, and enjoy the fire.