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The leaves are changing, the air is getting crisper, and it’s time to start thinking about fireplace maintenance. After a long summer of disuse, your fireplace needs a little TLC to get it ready for the cozy season ahead. Don’t wait for the Winter maintenance rush. You can get a head start today!

Here are a few fireplace maintenance tasks that you can do in the fall:

  • Clean the fireplace and hearth. This means removing any ash, soot, or debris that has accumulated over the summer or over the usage last Winter. You can use a fireplace brush and vacuum to clean the fireplace, and a damp cloth to clean the hearth.
  • Inspect the chimney. Look for any cracks or damage to the chimney liner or masonry. If you see anything that concerns you, have a professional chimney sweep inspect the chimney and make any necessary repairs. This is critical to the safe working of your fireplace.
  • Sweep the chimney. A professional chimney sweep will use special brushes to remove any creosote buildup from the chimney. Creosote is a flammable substance that can build up over time and increase the risk of a chimney fire. Try not to miss this maintenance, as it will keep you and your family safe.
  • Check the damper. Make sure that the damper opens and closes properly. This will help to ensure that your fireplace is properly ventilated and that smoke doesn’t back up into your home. A small, but easily missed, maintenance task.
  • Test the smoke detectors. Make sure that your smoke detectors are working properly and that the batteries are fresh. Smoke detectors are an important safety feature, especially if you have a fireplace.

In addition to these basic tasks, there are a few other things you can do to keep your fireplace in good shape:

  • Use seasoned wood. Seasoned wood burns more cleanly and produces less creosote than unseasoned wood. What is the proper moisture level in seasoned wood? Any seasoned wood below 20% means that it has been dried out to the point where it is less likely to produce smoke and creosote when burned.
  • Don’t overload the fireplace. Don’t put more wood in the fireplace than it can handle. This can cause smoke to back up into your home and increase the risk of a chimney fire.
  • Save yourself some money and have your fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned every year. This will help to identify and fix any problems before they become major.

And a final thought:

As you’re cleaning and inspecting your fireplace, take a moment to appreciate its beauty. Fireplaces have been a part of human culture for centuries, and they offer a unique and inviting warmth that can’t be replicated by any other heating system. So next time you’re sitting by the fire, take a moment to savor the moment and be grateful for the hearth and home that you have. And as always, please contact Hardline Hearth and Home to schedule your free consult. How can we help you enjoy your fireplace even more?