With cooler months fastly approaching, the excitement of getting cozy in front of the fireplace is racing forward. On a nice, cool night, nothing is better than spending time by the fire. While you wait for it to be time, check out these six steps from Ragsdale to ensure your fireplace is ready for this winter.
Clean Your Hearth and Chimney
To make sure your fireplace is safe and ready to be fired up, check for and clean out all soot and ash. For gas fireplaces, clean out all the dust. You should also check for any cracks and other damage that could have occurred. Ragsdale recommends that you safely climb to inspect the outside chimney too.
Check Your Damper and Gas Fireplace Pilot Light
Before lighting your fireplace this winter, ensure that your damper is open. Since it controls airflow, you want to make sure that it is open and works smoothly. For a small fire, you will want the damper partially open, fully open for a full fire, and closed when no fire is burning.
Anyone with a gas fireplace needs to make sure that your pilot light turns on. There should be a switch or knob to turn the gas on. Sometimes the instructions are not clear, so there is no shame in calling a professional to help you out. Before winter, make sure all vents are clean as well.
Protect Your Chimney and Floor
Your chimney needs to have a cap in order to protect it from a bird’s nest, harsh winds, and snow seals to name a few reasons. If your chimney does not have a cap, you might need to consider it before lighting a fire.
Your floors need to be protected too. If there is not a lot of space between the fireplace and your wood or carpeted floors, invest in a spark guard.
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Signs of Fire Danger
Grab your flashlight and look up your chimney. Ragsdale says that you should look for soot or creosote build. Both of these are flammable. If you see any build-up, call a professional chimney sweep to clean it out before starting up your fire.
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