Fireplace maintenance is essential to keep your system running smoothly and safely. However, the maintenance methods vary depending on the type of fireplace you have and the fuel you burn.
This blog post details the various fireplaces and fuel types and gives you the most up-to-date information on maintaining them for efficiency and safety.
Why Fireplace Maintenance is Important
Even if you’ve been using your fireplace for years without issue, it’s crucial that you keep it well-maintained and get annual chimney inspections to nip minor problems in the bud before they escalate.
Routine maintenance is essential because:
- It ensures efficient burning of fuel
- It prolongs the lifespan of your fireplace
- It keeps your family safe from carbon monoxide, chimney fires, and smoke
Let’s look at the various fireplaces and how to maintain them properly.
Wood Burning Fireplaces
Wood burning fireplaces are among the most beautiful with their ambient crackling sounds and smells that harken back to times of old when our ancestors gathered around the fire for warmth and to swap stories. However, wood fireplaces are notoriously high maintenance.
If you don’t burn seasoned firewood, you risk increased creosote buildup in your chimney, which becomes a fire risk quicker than most people think.
To keep your wood fireplace in good working condition, use wood that’s been dried out for a better, cleaner burn. Also, it’s crucial to remove ash regularly and dispose of it to prevent damage to the grate and other components and improve efficiency.
Also, you must remove soot and creosote because these substances can build up and block airflow, and they’re highly flammable, putting you and your family at risk of a fire.
People opt for gas fireplaces because they’re easier to use and require less maintenance than wood-burning fireplaces. However, regular maintenance is still necessary to ensure performance and safety.
Gas fireplace systems are prone to rust, so it’s important that you inspect the components regularly for signs of flaking or corrosion, which can lead to gas leaks.
Another component to watch is the logs. Although they’re typically made from cement or ceramic, they’re prone to deterioration over time. You can tell if the logs in your gas fireplace are going bad by noticing discoloration or fading; this is a sign that its’ time to replace them.
It’s also important to regularly test the gas ignition because valves become clogged over time, making it difficult to get a fire. You can clean the valves with steel wool or fine-grit sandpaper. If you’re not comfortable working around gas appliances, calling a professional for service is safer.
Last on our list are electric fireplaces, which, while not providing the ambiance of wood or gas fireplaces, are the easiest to maintain.
The only maintenance you need to perform on an electric fireplace is routine dusting or changing a bulb every so often.
Our Fireplace Inspection Service
Although there are many things you can do to keep your fireplace in top condition regardless of the type, it’s best to hire a certified professional for yearly inspection and maintenance.
Professional fireplace technicians are trained in every aspect of fireplace and chimney operation and safety. Professionals will spot issues you might miss — issues that can put your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or fire.
Also, professionals use advanced tools and techniques to thoroughly clean your fireplace and chimney to prevent creosote and soot buildup and remove any obstructions that impede performance.
Lastly, routine fireplace and chimney inspection allows you to deal with minor damage and the effects of wear and tear before it gets out of hand, leading to safety issues and requiring expensive repairs down the road.
At Above & Beyond Chimney Service, we have over 25 years of industry experience serving homeowners throughout Southern Massachusetts with trusted chimney, fireplace, dryer, and air vent care.
We want to be your go-to fireplace and chimney company and offer a comprehensive list of services, including:
- Chimney and fireplace sweeping
- Chimney and fireplace inspection
- Tuckpointing and masonry repairs
- Chimney cap and damper
- Leaky chimney repairs and waterproofing
- Gas fireplace installation
- Air duct cleaning
- Dryer vent cleaning
- And more!
We’re members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild and are fully licensed and insured for your protection.
If you live in South Newton or the South Shore area and need fireplace inspection from trusted professionals, call us at 781-383-0415 or fill out our online form.