There is nothing like a cozy, crackling fire on a freezing winter evening. So that you’re ready when it comes time to light the first fire, begin preparing your fireplace for winter now. These five tips will have your fireplace winter ready in no time.
1. Get Your Fireplace and Chimney Professionally Cleaned
One of the first steps in preparing your fireplace for winter is hiring a professional chimney cleaner to come to your house and perform an annual cleaning. This is an important task to check off your list before you light your first fire.
A dirty chimney can harbor a dangerous accumulation of creosote from previous fires. It can also house birds nests or tree debris. If you fail to have your chimney cleaned, you may find yourself with a chimney fire on your hands.
2. Schedule a Chimney Inspection When Preparing Your Fireplace For Winter
Another fireplace safety problem can come from structural damage to the chimney or surrounding roof. To be sure your chimney and roof are ready for a winter fire, have them professionally inspected so you have time to make any needed repairs.
Problems could include damaged masonry, missing or damaged flashing, or a cracked crown. These are all problems that will need to be fixed before you use your fireplace.
3. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Preparing your fireplace for winter includes considering the safety of you and your family. A wood fire produces carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas. While a properly vented chimney will draw this gas up and outside, it is best to include as many extra safety measures as possible. Installing carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home is an important precaution for anyone who uses a fireplace or wood stove.
4. Buy Firewood
When it comes to buying firewood, not all wood is created equal. Be sure to purchase a hardwood, like oak or maple, that has been properly seasoned so all moisture has been removed. Depending on how much storage space you have, you can often get deep discounts on wood when you purchase it in larger quantities.
If you want a wood variety that releases a fragrant scent, apple and cedar are your best choices. Experiment with different types of wood to see what works best for you.
5. Purchase Fireplace Tools
When you are preparing your fireplace for winter, you will need a few tools to help you have the perfect fire. A screen helps you control the heat from the fireplace and keeps any sparks from landing on the floor. It can also make an attractive accessory.
You will also need a poker, shovel, and small broom. These tools are sold as a set in a variety of styles to match any decor. The last tool you will need is a set of bellows. These tools help get your fire started and rekindle it when it goes out.
After you have completed these five essential tips, you will be ready to enjoy the winter season in front of your fireplace.