As the mercury slowly descends into the winter depths around much of the country, many Americans are turning to traditional fuels to help keep their homes warm. After all, is there anything better than spending time around a warm fire on a cold winter day surrounded by friends and family?
Your fireplace may very well be the center of your holidays and winter season, but it’s important to be aware of how to maintain your fireplace and chimney through the colder months. Here are a few tips.
Chimney and Fireplace Inspection
If you use your fireplace or a wood burning stove regularly during the winter months, it may be worth your time and money to get a professional inspection every year. Inspections, generally, are graded by levels and include simple cleaning of easy to reach areas to full reconstruction of your fireplace and chimney following a significant event such as a fire or earthquake.
In all likelihood, a preventative maintenance inspection is all you need, but having a professional opinion of the condition of your fireplace will give you the peace of mind that everything is in full working order. Additionally, professionals have the knowledge, tools, and equipment to take on tough chimney and fireplace cleaning tasks that you may not be able to tackle yourself.
Fuel for Your Fire
Believe it or not, choosing the right fuel for your fire makes a big difference on how clean your fire burns and how much soot and creosote accumulation builds up on the inside of your chimney.
For most homeowners, wood is the obvious choice for a fireplace although alternative fuels such as coal may be options in certain parts of the country. Assuming you’re burning wood in your fireplace, the best thing you can do is use good seasoned wood as fuel. This means using wood that has been dried for at least six months and kept dry before burning.
Wet wood or unseasoned wood will burn, but it will come at the expense of slower, cooler burns which in turn can create significant buildup of dangerous creosote in your chimney.
DIY Fireplace Maintenance
You’re probably asking, what can I do to maintain my fireplace? The answer isn’t as straightforward, however. Aside from using a good source of firewood for fuel and following your fireplace manufacturer’s recommendations for burning, this task is really better left to professionals.
As we’ve already mentioned, an annual inspection will protect you, your home, and your family from potential problems. It’s not a bad idea to plan on having a chimney cleaning each year just to be safe and no matter what you do, be sure to stay safe when examining your own fireplace or chimney.
Finance for the Future
Whether you long for a home with a fireplace for your friends and family or you’re looking to upgrade to a bigger home or make a significant move, then get in touch with Tidewater Mortgage Services Inc. Our loan officers have over 20 years of experience helping homeowners and buyers like yourself find the right mortgage solution.
Our simple online application can get you pre-qualified in as little as 24 hours which can help you get into a nice warm home sooner rather than later. Call today and get started into your perfect home!