The weather is finally turning colder and thoughts of a winter evening by your fireplace are probably beginning to pop into your head. Here’s another thought: Is your fireplace clean? Annual fireplace maintenance isn’t just for making sure your fireplace is functioning safely, it’s also vital to minimizing dust and soot in your home. While the best time to clean your fireplace is before the cold weather arrives, it’s not too late to protect your home from fireplace mishaps and keep your home cleaner this season.
Here are some tips for cleaning your wood-burning fireplace or stove.
Before you use your fireplace each season give it a good cleaning.
Remove all thoroughly cooled ashes and debris using a fireplace shovel and discard in the trash can. It’s best to use latex or plastic gloves for this job as the soot is going to be messy. Once that is done, scrub the walls of the fireplace with a nylon brush. Place newspapers along the bottom to collect any falling soot. Begin at the top, and work your way down. Then carefully fold up the newspapers and discard.
If you have glass doors on your wood burning fireplace, the housekeeping.about website recommends you use a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar, 1 Tbsp. of household ammonia, and 4 cups warm water to loosen any residue. This all-natural cleaner works for just about any surface in your house, so keep any leftovers in a bottle for next time. This solution also works for areas outside your fireplace that may have accumulated soot over the years.
Preventing creosote buildup.
You can make the job easier next year by burning only properly seasoned firewood. Using only well-seasoned firewood will lessen creosote build-up, helping your fireplace or wood stove burn cleaner and more efficiently,. Burning green or wet wood can cause smoking problems, odor, and increased creosote buildup which can lead to dangerous chimney fires. But burning even the driest firewood will leave some soot and creosote buildup on the flue walls lining the chimney, so it’s important they are removed periodically.
Creosote removal is best left to the professional fireplace and chimney cleaners. The rule of thumb is, if you use your fireplace about once a week during the season, it should be professionally cleaned every other year. With more frequent use, an annual cleaning is appropriate.
If you are looking for another way to ensure that your fireplace either wood or gas is in perfect shape leading into the winter Tevis Home has the solution for you. Our Hearth Service Plans include an annual 17 point clean and service and additional services.
Tevis Home Store
1616 Hanover Pike, Hampstead MD