We all want to spend winter as comfortably as possible. Snuggling a cozy blanket by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa is a common scenario for the season. However, for that to happen, you need to make sure the fireplace is ready to be used - both safely and comfortably. With that in mind, we put together a couple of tips for you to open the fireplace for winter. Check them out!
First and foremost, you need to have the fireplace properly cleaned. Only a professional will be able to do a thorough job and most chimney sweeping services also offer chimney inspections for any possible damages like cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar. So, that’s a nice bonus.
The good news here is that you can contract a seasoned provider of firewood, but you can also easily find wood at supermarkets or on the street! We don’t recommend going for street logs that much since they might still be really moist and not burn properly - while causing a lot of smoke.
A fireplace cleaning service will cost you slightly less if you live in Detroit, MI, compared to Mount Vernon, NY. For a more accurate estimate, hire a local professional!
Cap + Screen
The chimney cap is an addition that prevents birds, squirrels, and debris in general from falling down the fireplace. It’s important to check and see if everything’s good with your chimney cap.
More than that,
Adding a fireplace screen or guard is especially important if there are any kids or pets around, as it will prevent the little ones from getting burned.
The damper is a sort of movable plate in the chimney flue that must be opened before using the fireplace. This will allow fresh air to circle around and feed the fire while also preventing smoke from staying indoors.
Remember to close the damper once the fire is extinguished, otherwise animals and debris could find their way into the house.
One or two inches of ashes is okay to leave on the fireplace - it even helps the next fire to start burning. Just be careful when time comes to remove those ashes. It can take hours up to days for the coals to completely cool, meaning ashes might still be burning while that happens.
Because of that,
You should always have a metal shovel around. Scoop the ashes with the shovel, place them in a metal container, and place them outdoors - away from the house, the garage, and the decks!
House Rules for Fireplace Use
How many people are in your house? Make sure to have a family gathering and go through all the rules for fireplace use. Everyone needs to know the basics:
- No discarding items into the fire
- What are proper and improper fuel materials
- The screen should be on at all times the fire is burning
- Decorations need to stay far away from the fireplace in use
Once everyone is aware of the rules and your chimney sweep and inspection has been taken care of, sit back and enjoy a cozy season by the fire!
How about getting your fireplace ready for winter? Get a free quote for your chimney sweep!
More from homeyou:
- How to Prepare Your Home’s Concrete for Winter
- How to Make Your Home Cozy for the Season
- 5 Habits That Could be Putting Your Home at Fire Risk