It is mid-October, and the sun shines bright through the slowly changing leaves of Fall. But the foggy mornings and the chillier evenings are a reminder that winter is just around the corner. Before you cover your backyard grill and set your sights on the indoors, ensure your fireplace is ready for those cozy evenings by the fire.
- Clean Your Chimney. Before you light your first fire of the season, schedule an appointment for a chimney sweep. Mary Poppins aside, an annual fireplace inspection will check for the build-up of creosote that can cause dangerous blockages that reduce ventilation and airflow.
- Mind The Ashes. Once a month, clean the firebox (the area where the wood burns). Place used ashes outside in a metal container at least 3 feet from the house as ashes can remain hot long after the fire has cooled.
- Clear Your Space. It’s lovely to sit by a warm fire on a cold night but keep furniture at least three feet away from the fireplace and always use a metal screen in from the fireplace to catch the wayward sparks from a crackling fire.
- Check The Flue. Before lighting a fire, make sure the flue and vents are open. To ensure your flue is open, light a match and blow it out while holding it in the fireplace. If the smoke rises up the chimney, the flue is open.