Colder weather is well on its way here in the Pacific Northwest and that means it’s time to make sure your home is ready! Here’s what you need to know about fireplace maintenance to prepare for the changing seasons:
Feeling the Louvers
Louvers are designed to circulate air and pull it into the fireplace – that means if there’s anything on the floor or hearth around it, it’s going into the flames. Dust, pet hair, cobwebs, small scraps of paper, and so on could all be whisked up. It is vitally important to keep the area in and around your fireplace free of debris, so you should dust, sweep, and vacuum it regularly to keep your fireplace burning comfortably and without odors this winter.
Through the Looking Glass
If, like me, you have a glass panel on the front of your fireplace, now is about the time you’ll need to clean it. Rule of thumb says to clean it at least once a year and I usually clean mine at the start and end of the cold-weather seasons. It is best to use a cleaner specifically manufactured for fireplaces, but a water-and-vinegar mix will do you just fine.
Alert: DO NOT clean your fireplace with any cleaner that includes ammonia.
Feel the Burn
For wood-burning fireplaces, you’ll need Dick Van Dyke and his merry band of chimney sweeps to come sweep your chimney roughly once a year. Short of Dick Van Dyke, it is best to hire local professionals to come out and give your chimney a thorough cleaning – local professionals like us!
For gas-burning fireplaces, it comes down to your pilot light. I have previously written a little bit about pilot lights and how they’re basically the most forgettable thing in your house. If you followed my advice, you’ve shut it off for the summer to avoid sulfur buildup on the inside of your fireplace. Regardless of whether you turned it off or left it on, it is best to have a professional come out to inspect and clean it so that there are no clogs or issues with the Oxygen Depletion Sensor which could cause your fireplace to shut down unexpectedly.
For all your fireplace needs this season, give us a call! We’re always honored to answer any of your questions and provide our best services to make sure that you are happy and comfortable in your home.