If you have a home with a fireplace, you’re probably intimately familiar with just how comfortingly warm they can be during the cold months of the year. Few things are as cozy as curling up in front of the fireplace, perhaps with a blanket and mug of hot chocolate, and maybe a good book or movie to pass the time with. Do you give much thought to how you should be taking care of it though?
The Importance of Regular Cleaning
Using your fireplace inevitably results in a bit of a mess being made, even if it doesn’t look like it at first. There’s the ash from the burning wood that collects in the fireplace itself, and then there’s the creosote from the burning wood that can build up in your chimney. Letting a bunch of ash build up in the fireplace is dangerous and just begging for a huge mess to be made. If left unattended to, a buildup of creosote is also incredibly dangerous and can easily cause a devastating chimney fire. All of that is to say nothing of the birds or other pests that may have made their home in your chimney. Clearly, regularly cleaning your fireplace is important.
Cleaning the Fireplace
So how do you go about cleaning the fireplace? Start by making sure that any and all power or gas used to light the fireplace is turned off. If you have ash you’re cleaning out, cover the surrounding area to prevent it from becoming dirty. Clear out any debris and ash from the fireplace itself. If you use synthetic logs, wipe them down. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, wipe down the andirons and grate. Clean the firebox, screens, and doors. You may want to hire a chimney sweep to handle the creosote removal from the chimney itself if you have a wood-burning fireplace.
Low Maintenance Alternatives
Wood-burning fireplaces should be cleaned weekly when used regularly, and monthly when not. Gas fireplaces don’t need quite as much cleaning, but still, need to be cleaned annually. If all the cleaning involved just isn’t your thing, an electric fireplace insert may be the perfect choice for you. It can provide you with the warmth of a fire without all the cleanup. It’s also highly efficient and easily controlled.
Taking care of your fireplace is a good way to make sure that it can take care of you too. It’s important to clean your fireplace on a regular basis. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you is up to you. If you don’t want to deal with regular fireplace cleaning but don’t want to give up on all that warm coziness, consider some lower maintenance alternatives that will still give you that comforting, cravable warmth during the winter.
Home inspections offer you valuable insights into the condition of your home, whether you’re getting ready to buy, sell, or anything in between. Check out our Certified Utah Home Inspection Services to see what type of inspection will be right for you.