All About Fireplace Maintenance
Many homes in the Greater Rochester area and Western New York use their fireplaces almost daily during the winter months to stay comfortable during the winter. It’s also very relaxing to sit by a cozy fire while looking at the snow-covered rooftops on a snowy day. While it is vital to have annual chimney inspections and professional chimney cleanings, it is also essential to properly maintain your fireplace in between professional chimney sweeping. Here’s a handy guide that tells you all about fireplace maintenance.
Maintaining Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Follow these simple tips to maintain your wood-burning fireplace during the winter.
Burn Seasoned Firewood: The type of wood you burn can affect how often your fireplace will need sweeping. We recommend burning hardwoods that have been seasoned or dried for at least six months. The lower moisture content in these woods will burn cleaner with significantly less creosote. It will also burn hotter, longer, and more completely, so you will use less wood fuel while enjoying a warm and cozy fireplace experience.
Dump the Ash: When you notice that ash is piling up in the firebox, it’s time to dump it. Periodically removing excess ash will improve heating efficiency and make it easier to maintain your fireplace. After your fireplace has been cool for at least 12 hours, sweep the ash with a metal shovel into a metal container. Leave about a one-inch layer of ash under the grate to help light your next fire. You can recycle leftover ash in your garden, use it as compost, cover slippery surfaces, etc.
Clean the Firebox: First, you will need to remove everything from the fireplace, including the grate, wood logs, and ash. Then, spray the firebox walls with an all-purpose cleaner to remove stains like soot, debris, and creosote. More difficult stains and hardened build-up may require a stiff brush. Be careful to avoid damaging the firebrick. You can also find gridirons, fireplace cleaning products, and expert advice from certified professionals at the Felgemacher Fireplace Shop.
Gas Fireplace Maintenance
Properly Maintaining your gas fireplace will help keep your family safe and prolong its useful lifespan, reducing service calls and repairs.
Turn off the Gas: After your fireplace has been cool for at least 12 hours, turn the gas valve to the ‘OFF’ position.
Remove the Glass Facing: Next, carefully remove the decorative glass cover to access the fireplace interior. You may need to consult the user manual for your fireplace model. Only use a gas fireplace glass cleaner to clean the glass. Other cleaning products may contain hazardous chemicals that can cause a fire or explosion.
Inspect the Ceramic Logs: Carefully examine the ceramic logs for cracks and other damages. If you notice cracking or excessive wear, it’s time to replace the gas logs. We recommend contacting a certified gas fireplace professional for log replacement to avoid damaging the fireplace or its internal components.
Clean inside the Fireplace: Use a cloth to wipe any soot or dust from the logs. You can also use a hand-held vacuum to clean dust, pet hairs, lint, and other debris inside the fireplace.
Check connections & fittings: Before replacing the glass front cover, check the gas connections and fittings for signs of wear or damage.
Don’t Forget to Schedule Your Annual Chimney Inspection
Whether you have a wood-burning or gas fireplace, don’t forget to schedule an annual chimney inspection. The National Fireplace Protection Association (NFPA) recommends yearly chimney inspections for all homes with gas or wood fuel heating appliances. It is the only way to be certain that the chimney, vents, and attached heating appliances are not a fire or safety hazard.
Fireplace Maintenance Services In Rochester, NY
The certified professionals at Felgemacher Fireplace Shop have been maintaining chimneys and fireplaces in Buffalo, Rochester, and Western New York since 1953. We also have a large selection of fireplaces, heating stoves, and accessories for the ultimate indoor and outdoor living experience. Visit us at 2727 Broadway, Suite 5 in Buffalo. Call (585) 684-8791 or (716) 452-9157 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!