How Do I “Close” My Fireplace for the Summer?
After the burning season, it’s not a good idea to just let your fireplace sit there as-is throughout the spring and summer months. There are certain tasks such as chimney cleanings and inspections that should be done after using your fireplace all winter. Here are six of the most important.
Schedule a chimney and fireplace inspection
After a long, cold New York winter, your fireplace and chimney may have sustained some level of damage that could lead to dangerous operation next year. A licensed professional chimney sweep who specializes in these types of inspections can help.
You can save big money by learning about problems early before they become widespread and dangerous – which they usually will if ignored.
Take care of any needed repair work
Spring and summer are better times than winter to have repairs made to your fireplace, chimney masonry or any of the system’s components. There are three reasons for this:
- It’s safer for crews and easier on your home to have repair work done in good weather.
- Even though you won’t be using your fireplace during the off-season, certain types of problems such as water leaks and masonry issues can keep progressing if left unattended.
- Chimney repair companies are less busy during the warm months. Moving into fall, they tend to have full schedules and getting them out to your home won’t be as easy.
Clean the firebox
Use a brush, scraper, broom, cleaning solution and vacuum to remove all leftover ash and deposits from your firebox so it will be as “good as new” for the next burning season.
Take this time to also clean soot and smoke stains from the surrounding brick or stone facing and the mantel. The longer this stuff sits, the harder it is to remove.
Have your chimney flue cleaned
Proper chimney sweeping once a year is recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) as well as all fire safety organizations.
Professional chimney sweeps who are certified through the CSIA have all the tools and hands-on training necessary to safely remove built-up creosote and obstructions such as tree debris and small-animal nests from your chimney flue.
Close your damper
Make a mental – or physical – note to close your damper when you’re finished using your fireplace for the season. An open damper will allow cool air to escape your home and pull in uncomfortable hot air, causing your A/C to work overtime.
Open dampers also are invitations for squirrels, birds, snakes, rodents and other critters to come on in and explore your home. You can prevent critter invasion (and debris-infiltration) with a sturdy chimney cap, which most chimney sweep and repair technicians can install.
Turn off the pilot light
If you’re not going to be using your gas fireplace or fireplace insert, there’s no need to pay to keep the pilot light running.
These tips for closing your fireplace for the off-season will result in having a safe, efficient and beautiful fireplace/chimney system ready to go when the cold weather blows in next fall.
Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie, NY, is ready to help with all your fireplace and chimney needs including CSIA-certified chimney sweeping, chimney and fireplace inspections, all types of repair and rebuilding work and the installation of dampers, chimney caps and other components.
Schedule a visit early and get the work done fast by calling (845) 471-1071.