What to Remember Before Sparking Up the Wood
How have you been keeping warm in your home now that the temperatures have started to drop? It is that time of year again to get cozy in front of the fireplace! Instead of turning up your thermostat full blast, use your fireplace to save energy and stay comfortable this year. While you are preparing your fireplace for the cold season, remember these safety guidelines before putting it into use.
A fireplace should not be used as an alternative to your furnace. Your fireplace should be burning no longer than five hours, as it can negatively affect indoor air quality. In addition, keep a nonflammable rug in front of your fireplace so that sparks won’t damage your floor. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are essential devices to keep near your fireplace and in bedroom areas.
Keep the glass barrier in front of the fireplace open while it is in use so that cool air can circulate through the chimney. Remember to open the damper in the chimney, as well as a few windows around your home, to prevent smoke build up. A great way to make sure smoke will go up the chimney properly is to light a match, blow it out, and watch to see whether it’s going up and out.
Clean Up After Use
Scrape the soot from the firebox at least once a week during the months your fireplace is in use. You can leave up to an inch of ash in the firebox because it will act as insulation. Keeping some ash in the firebox will allow the coals to heat up faster and the firebox to retain heat more easily. Keep the firebox entirely clean during the months the fireplace is not in use.