Seasonal Upkeep Recommendations for Gas and Wood Fireplaces
Your fireplace or stove can be all but forgotten during summer months, but there are some upkeep tips that are perfect to take care of before winter rolls back around. Safety should always be at the forefront, when using a fireplace in your home.
Experts recommend annual maintenance and inspection of gas and wood fireplaces and stoves. This recommendation comes from professionals at the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), leaders in fire safety.
Upkeep tips for wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, and inserts
The off-season maintenance needs are a bit different for wood-burning appliances as compared with gas-fueled fireplaces and stoves. It’s important to understand the potential dangers of your fireplace or stove, all of which can be addressed with an inspection and possible maintenance and repair services by a chimney expert.
Tips for wood fireplaces, stoves, and fireplace inserts follow:
- Schedule a chimney inspection annually. An inspection is recommended each year, even if your fireplace or stove have barely been used. One of the leading causes of home fires related to chimneys is lack of maintenance. Specific issues that result in fires vary but leading examples include too much creosote and an obstruction in the chimney.
- Creosote is a highly flammable, tar-like substance that is deposited in your chimney every time you burn a wood fire. Creosote should be cleaned before too much build-up occurs. Otherwise, the accumulation of incendiary materials can cause a hazardous chimney fire or obstruction. Toxic, deadly carbon monoxide can enter the home as a result of a partially blocked chimney.
- If there is any damage to your chimney liner, repair or replacement is essential. The liner is what protects combustible parts of the home from extreme temperatures. The smallest crack in a liner is all it takes to make your home vulnerable to a house fire.
- Blowers on wood-burning appliances need to be cleaned manually.
- Gasket materials may need to be replaced or repaired, if steel or glass doors are not airtight. When excess air gets into a firebox, over-firing can occur, which can damage the appliance permanently.
Upkeep tips for gas fireplaces, stoves, and inserts
Gas fireplaces and stoves are remarkably convenient, and it can be easy to forget that routine upkeep is needed. For proper operation to be ensured when there are cold temperatures outside, routine maintenance is essential. The following are maintenance tips for gas fireplaces, stoves, and inserts:
- Annual maintenance by a qualified technician should be scheduled. An expert will remove dust and insects that may be blocking the combustion system. In addition, the airways of the pilot and main burners need to be cleaned routinely.
- Dust should be cleaned from any blowers that may be part of your fireplace or wood stove. An accumulation of dust can result in damage, as the balance is thrown off. The bearing could also experience premature wear and tear, as a result of lack of maintenance.
- Replace batteries in the remote control and possibly the receiver for your gas fireplace or stove, as needed.
One more thing to do on a regular basis is to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors that are located throughout your home. Both devices are life-savers. Ensure they are in proper working condition before using your wood or gas fireplace, stove, or insert.
All of our chimney sweeps at Hudson Valley Chimney Service, Inc., are CSIA-certified and use the latest technology and tools in their work. Are you ready for the first cold snap? Contact us today to schedule an inspection, cleaning, repair, and/or maintenance of your gas or wood fireplace or stove.