Spring cleaning is something many people look forward to, a chance to clean up and clear out your home before you are ready to enjoy the glorious summer months. While it might seem counter intuitive to have your fireplace checked in the summer when it’s not being used, it is actually a perfect time for technicians, notes Christy Buchan of Energy Products and Design. Regardless of what type of fireplace you have, you should have it checked every few years, if not annually.
Wood burning fireplaces need to have their chimneys cleaned. The type of wood burned has a direct effect on how clogged it may get, and Buchan notes that many people are careful about what types of wood they use in their fireplace. Dry, seasoned, hardwood and oak are all great for burning, say Buchan. Damp wood can cause creosote to build up in the chimney. “Then you run the risk of having a chimney fire,” explains Buchan.
Gas fireplaces should be checked as well. While uncommon, they can have cracks or faulty parts, causing them to leak carbon monoxide. Regular maintenance can prevent carbon monoxide leaks, along with more common problems such as a failing thermal couple, a bad burner or broken or cracked logs.
Gas cleanings include taking off the glass panels and taking out all the bits and pieces inside that makes it work, says Buchan. The technician simultaneously cleans and inspects every part before reassembling the fireplace.
If any part needs repair, check to see if it’s covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. You may save yourself a few hundred dollars in replacement parts this way.
Fireplace maintenance “is no different than getting the oil changed in your car or getting your furnace inspected,” says Buchan. Having your fireplace cleaned and inspected now means when the temperature starts to drop next fall, you can be ready to cozy up to a fire in your fuzzy socks, knowing you’re safe.