Simple Fireplace Maintenance

Fireplaces add beauty to your home in the warmer months and provide warmth in the colder months of the year. Taking care of it throughout the year is not only essential for your fireplace’s longevity; it’s essential to the the safe operation of your fireplace.

Care and Maintenance

Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions, as well as these basic suggestions to care for your replace.

Gas and Electric Fireplaces

Conduct a checkup twice a year or after an extended period of disuse.

Never burn wood in a gas or electric replace.

Call a licensed contractor if you see arcing, or call the gas company if you smell gas. Don’t use the replace until after it’s been repaired.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Use the manufacturer’s safety precautions, suggestions, and instructions for managing wood fuel; starting res; operating the damper, doors, and other features; and cleaning the replace. Also, follow these basic care and maintenance suggestions:

  • Conduct a checkup twice a year, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean the rebox and screens before each use.
  • Clean exterior replaces before each use.

To Start Fires

1. Prevent smoking at start-up by closing any window located near the fireplace when lighting a fire. You can reopen the windows once the chimney starts drawing.

2. Remove any debris from the hearth area before lighting a fire. Debris too close to the fireplace can catch fire.

3. Make sure the chimney damper is open.

4. Start the fire slowly to get a gradual buildup of heat and smoke.

5. Light a section of newspaper, and hold it up into the flue to start the chimney updraft more easily; this keeps the fireplace from heating too quickly and cracking the firebrick.

Never build a fire directly on the fireplace floor. Always use andirons or a grate and a well-fitted fireplace screen.

The best wood for burning is well-seasoned wood that’s been stored correctly and dried for at least six months.

To Burn Fires Safely

Close the damper after using the replace to keep air conditioning from escaping through the chimney.

Add a handful of salt to the re occasionally to help keep soot from accumulating.

Never leave a re in your replace unattended.

Never burn treated lumber. It will emit creosote or poisonous gases, which can build up in the flue or enter the home.

Store firewood outside to avoid insects entering your home with the wood.

To Check the Damper Seal

To make sure the seal on the damper is working properly, hold a tissue near the damper and check for drafts blowing the tissue around. Call for service if the damper isn’t working properly.

For more information about replaces, visit the manufacturer’s website.