6 Ways to Keep a Safe and Clean Fireplace Between Professional Cleanings
As far as maintaining a clean fireplace, the job of chimney sweeping should be left to chimney professionals. After all, they have the correct equipment, supplies, and training for the job. There are plenty of things you can do for yourself, though. How you use your fireplace impacts how quickly it becomes clogged up with combustion materials aka creosote. Keeping things from falling or crawling into your chimney is another way you can contribute to a safer, cleaner fireplace and chimney. Learn more below.
1-Have a Chimney Cap Installed
A chimney cap can sit atop your flue pipe or, even better, cover the entire top of your chimney. An outside-mount custom chimney cap will keep animals out of your chimney and help prevent chimney crown damage by protecting it from the harsh outdoor elements. Your fireplace stays cleaner when animals, their nests, their waste, and their carcasses stay out of your chimney.
2-Clean Out Ashes
When CSIA-certified chimney sweeps clean your chimney, they will also use a special vacuum to clean out your fireplace, including ashes. Other equipment ensures that your home is not left with a dusting of creosote and soot. When you keep ashes at around 1 inch at the bottom when using your fireplace, you help keep your chimney cleaner. The thin ash layer helps fires burn hotter. Too much ash would hinder air from getting to the fire, resulting in a lackluster fire that leaves more creosote in the chimney lining.
3-Remove Overhead Tree Limbs
Leaves, branches, and limbs fall into chimneys and create a hazard. When you have a chimney cap installed, it will keep this type of debris out, along with animals. Overhead tree limbs can still create problems, however. On windy days, the limbs could rake across your chimney cap and cause damage. A damaged flue often allows rain and debris to fall inside the flue.
4-Ensure a Strong Draft
It is essential that combustion gases are able to move up the chimney and outside. If smoke is pouring into your home more than a little, it may be that something is hindering the draft. A common problem these days is that modern homes have such airtight building envelopes that no air is available for fires in the fireplace. A temporary solution is to open a window, but permanent solutions should be sought.
5-Burn the Right Wood
The only thing that should be used as fuel in a wood-burning fireplace is seasoned wood. Whether you use softwoods or hardwoods, as long as the moisture content in the wood is low, fires should be able to achieve near-complete combustion. This minimizes the amount of creosote in the chimney. Burning green wood, on the other hand, significantly multiplies the amount of gunk deposited in the flue.
6-Avoid Smoldering Fires
A fire smolders as a result of lack of air and a lack of fuel, even while dying flames and embers release excessive smoke. For a cleaner chimney, burn efficient fires. Softwoods do the best job of avoiding the smoldering effect because the wood burns hot and quickly, leaving no embers behind. Hardwoods create embers that provide heat for an extended period, but they emit smoke as their smolder slowly dies.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning at Chimney Solutions
The chimney sweeps at Chimney Solutions are Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified. Schedule your chimney cleaning, chimney inspections, chimney repairs, masonry repair, and all other chimney services with Chimney Solutions for great workmanship, fair pricing, and reliable communication. For the best help keeping your chimney clean, contact us today by calling (770) 255-1300.