It’s easy to understand why you see fireplaces in the background of nearly every holiday movie in the winter. Film makers are trying to stir up an emotional response because fireplaces are classic reminders of comfort, a place to gather, and where you can find joy with others.
People who love the colder months of the year tend to romanticize the crackle of a wood-burning fireplace as it brings your whole family together to talk, read, or just enjoy each other’s company in the warmth. But how can you ensure you have the most efficient fireplace to continue to enjoy it for many years?
While it is best to maintain your fireplace year-round, doing any significant maintenance or even having your fireplace inspected can be done when you aren’t using it much, like in the warmer months. This maintenance will ensure it is the most efficient when you start it back up again! It doesn’t have to be challenging to keep your fireplace in excellent shape, and at LanChester Grill & Hearth, we have maintenance tips to help you with any kind of fireplace.
What Do I Need to Do for the Most Efficient Fireplace Possible?
You likely spent a lot of time deciding what type of fireplace you wanted for your home or learning about the old fireplace in your home if it was there before you moved in. Why not dedicate some time to maintaining it and extending its lifespan before decorating the mantel?
When people hear the word “maintenance,” they may think of repairs to something that has broken or a deep cleaning session. But maintenance can range from something as simple as sweeping up ash to something more work-intensive, like having your chimney looked at because you notice a broken brick or two. Each type of fireplace has different maintenance needs, and what type you have can determine how much time you will spend maintaining it to help it perform optimally.
How Do You Maintain a Wood Burning Fireplace?
With all their charm, wood-burning fireplaces require the most maintenance to keep them in their best shape for safe and efficient use. Even if you are always careful only to burn seasoned woods and use your flue correctly, soot and creosote buildup can occur and cause issues.
When you burn wood in your fireplace, you should call on a certified chimney sweep at least once a year to properly clean out the chimney. Perform deep cleaning twice a year, once before using your fireplace for the season and once after. Make sure you clean up after each use and vacuum or sweep up the ash. Use a wire brush to remove soot if you find any buildup inside the firebox in your home.
Are Gas Fireplaces Easy to Maintain?
Yes, gas fireplaces are easy to maintain, especially when compared to wood-burning fireplaces. There’s no ash cleanup, but you still need to clean the firebox. Before performing any cleaning or maintenance tasks, turn off the power and gas valve to prevent gas leaks.
Wipe down glass doors and the body of the firebox to remove dust and have it inspected annually to make sure all the parts are working correctly. When wiping down your gas fireplace, check any vents and even the logs for cobwebs, dust, dirt, or other debris that may clog up the system and cause efficiency issues.
Do Electric Fireplaces Need Maintenance?
Of the three types of fireplaces, electric fireplaces need the least amount of hands-on maintenance. They should be dusted regularly and inspected at least once a year, but other than that, there is very little you need to do to keep them running as efficiently as possible.
As with other fireplaces, keep your furniture, blankets, and other belongings away from an electric fireplace. There is an increased risk of fire if any foreign objects obstruct them.
What Else Can I Do to Keep My Fireplace Safe and Efficient?
One other aspect of fireplace care to ensure you have the most efficient fireplace possible has nothing to do with the firebox itself. Instead, it has to do with your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
Keeping your home safe when you own a fireplace means having the right sensors for your safety. Have a schedule to check your detectors’ functionality. Remember to test and replace batteries regularly.
Ready To Have the Most Efficient Fireplace for Your Home?
Everyone deserves a well-maintained fireplace for warmth and the sense of togetherness it can bring. When it comes to having the most efficient fireplace, whether it’s an old fireplace or something new, you need regular maintenance and upkeep for fireplaces of all kinds.
Keep your family safe and ensure you can enjoy your fire feature’s warmth for many more chilly nights! If you have questions about your fireplace or want more information about proper maintenance techniques, please do not hesitate to contact us at LanChester Grill & Hearth.