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Wood Burning Fireplace Maintenance

Wood burning fireplaces require periodic maintenance to function properly and safely. Over time, soot and creosote buildup in your chimney and it’s important to remove them on a regular basis. These substances are a fire hazard and can hinder the efficiency of your fireplace.

Generally speaking, you should have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional at least, once a year. In addition to professional services, the following is what you can do as a homeowner to maintain your fireplace:

The Chimney Damper

Ensure the chimney damper is not blocked by items such as leaves, twigs, or in some cases, even animals. If it is blocked call a professional chimney sweep.

Clean the fireplace of ALL Ashes

Before starting any fire in your fireplace, you should clean the fireplace. Ashes, dirt, and debris can all present a threat of fire and can impede airflow if neglected. It is also a good idea to wear gloves and a dust mask for your safety during the cleaning. (Leaving an inch of ash in the fireplace will make it easier to maintain a fire.)

Test Your Fireplace

Burn a few small pieces of dry wood. Light the fire from the top down. If smoke doesn’t exit vertically from the fireplace into the chimney but enters the room, there might be something else blocking the chimney. If this occurs, have your chimney serviced as soon as possible.

Burn Fire Logs

“Firelogs,” meaning, composition logs. Burning fire logs reduces indoor air pollution. This type of wood fuel is also easier to ignite, burns longer, and is more efficient than firewood.

Burning Firewood

If you burn firewood, use only clean, dry, and seasoned wood to reduce the amount of hazardous smoke. Good firewood also keeps your fireplace cleaner and in better working condition. Avoid burning pine and other resinous woods that leave more creosote in the flue.

Storage of Wood

If you store your wood outside, keep it at least one foot above ground and ensure the storage area is sunny and well-ventilated.

Reducing Toxic Fumes

To reduce toxic fumes and preventing the flue from clogging, never burn materials like rubber, garbage, plastic, particle board, colored papers, etc.

Doors on Your Fireplace

To prevent live embers from popping out onto materials like carpeting, ensure your fireplace has heatproof glass doors in the front.

In general, a great way to check that your fire is burning correctly is to go outside and confirm that the smoke is indeed coming out of the chimney. If the smoke is dark and dense, you may need to adjust the dampers or air inlets. For more information on fire and life safety check out our full website @ or call us 1-888-412-FIRE.

*Wishing you, and your families a safe and Happy New Year from all of us here at Fire Fighter Sales & Service!

Fire FighterWood Burning Fireplace Maintenance

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