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Should I Close My Fireplace During the Summer?

Winter is over and the logical question is “Do I need to close my fireplace during summer?” The quick answer to that question is “yes.” Closing your fireplace during the summer is a smart way to deal with any issues of winter and prevent possible summer storm damage. Storm damage can include debris, water damage, leaks, mold, and mildew. Here are a few things that should be done in order to properly close your fireplace for the summer.

Gas Fireplace Installation Esopus, NYDon’t Forget the Pilot Light

The ignition system in a gas fireplace has a part that creates a small flame using a steady stream of gas. This is called the pilot light. The steady stream of gas can continue to cost even though the fireplace is not in use. Closing a fireplace involves turning off the pilot light to reduce energy consumption and prevent build-up. The pilot light should also be turned off before cleaning. Dealing with gas can be dangerous, so please be sure to call a professional if you have any questions.

Clean the Fireplace

You don’t want to seal in old ashes and creosote buildup. If cleaning the fireplace, yourself, here are a few simple steps to get the job done right.

1.)  Allow the fireplace to cool for at least 24 hours.

2.) Remove any unused wood logs and the grate. Newspaper or drop cloth will keep soot and creosote from staining
carpets or floors.

3.) Grates can be cleaned outside using a brush

4.) Remove ashes into a metal container – there are various ways to recycle fireplace ash but retain about a one-inch
layer to help start your next fire.

5.) Use a vacuum to get rid of any remaining dirt or ash.

Close the Damper

The damper is a piece of equipment that directs airflow in the chimney. Dampers can be either top mount (sitting on top of the chimney) or throat mount ( meaning they reside in the space where the firebox and flue meet). The damper opens when a fire is burning to allow smoke and other gases to leave your home, but it is common for people to forget to close it when they are done with a fire.

An open damper allows warm outside air to stream in and mix with cooler indoor air. This can increase energy costs as you are trying to cool or heat outdoor air. Water can also enter the chimney through the damper and cause damage. To close your fireplace for the summer, you will need to make sure your damper is working properly. If your damper is damaged, rusted or you simply have a hard time working it, your chimney sweep can help remedy this issue.

Chimney Cleaning Beacon, NYSchedule a Chimney Inspection & Cleaning

Having your chimney inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep is a necessary step to closing your fireplace for the summer. Chimney sweeps do much more than clean off the soot. Your heating appliances, connections, and vents will all be inspected.

They will check for obstructions, creosote, and water damage or leaks. Gas fireplaces need even more attention to inspect the ignition system and all other components, including ceramic logs, for leaks and damage. If you find that repairs are needed, there is no better time than summer to take care of those issues. Call Hudson Valley Chimney at (845)471-1071  for all your fireplace and chimney maintenance needs or repairs or contact us using our online form to schedule your appointment today!

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