ABCs of Home Fireplace Maintenance

This is the time of year that a home fireplace becomes more than a feature; it becomes a gathering spot. Make sure to practice fireplace safety, and maintain those focal points with a few simple steps. Keep those home fires burning during the coldest months to lower utility bills while creating a welcoming ambiance.

  • Always keep chimney swept at appropriate intervals. Hire a certified chimney sweep to keep chimney swept and check it at least once a year, depending upon how many fires are burned.
  • Be sure to always open the flue before lighting the fire. It can be a good idea to open a secondary source of ventilation as well; cracking a window can often do the trick.
  • Clean the area inside the fireplace where ash builds up (also called the firebox) weekly while in use. It's alright to leave a small amount of ash to insulate future fires, but clean out completely when the season comes to an end.
  • Don't burn strange materials. Paper that is colored, glossy or thick can cause the build-up of creosote, which can lead to chimney fires. Burn only minimal amounts of black and white paper to start fires, but stick to kindling and aged hardwoods for highest quality fires.
  • Enjoy your fire with a screen or opened glass doors. Never let a fire burn without some sort of barrier to keep hot coals in and household members safe.

Lighting a cozy fireplace can be a wonderful treat, but this activity does come with its share of responsibilities. Be mindful of keeping your fireplace in tip-top shape for a fireplace that stays serviceable and safe through the years.

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