Henriette Fireplace February 11th, 2018 - 10:02:00
Once you have finished cleaning your chimney, the next step in cleaning your fireplace to prepare it for the coming warmer months, is to clean out the firebox. You will need to give your firebox walls a good brushing with a nice stiff brush. Knock down all the loose soot and ash that has gotten stuck to the brick walls and flue. Remove your fireplace grate and set it to the side on a newspaper. Keep it from touching your finished flooring, as it will leave a nice sooty footprint. You will clean this and your other fireplace tools in the next step. Using your fireplace shovel, you will need to scoop out as much of the completely cooled ash and the chunks of unburned wood as you can. Using your fireplace brush, sweep the remainder of the ash onto your shovel and into an ash bucket.
Fireplace screens can serve as spark arrestors for the wood burning fireplace and as decorative items or they can help protect a hearth floor area from rolling logs moving around as flames burn off a wood stack in the case of sturdier types of screens. Most screens are made of metal such as brass or more commonly wrought iron or steel. Since fireplace screens are subjected to the full heat of the fireplace they must be made of durable materials. Perhaps the most common type of fireplace screen is the mesh spark arrestor made of finely wrought interlinked chains, which are hung from a rod suspended from the lintel inside the fireplace opening. The screens can be drawn shut like a curtain when needed or opened when the fireplace is not in use.
There are actually several good ways to clean out a chimney. One is to purchase a chimney brush that matches your size and type of chimney. These brushes are specially designed for cleaning out chimneys, but you need to make sure you have the right size for your specific chimney. Also, if you have a brick and mortar chimney you should use a wire brush, whereas if your chimney is prefab, you should use a brush with poly bristles. The shape of your chimney is also important in considering which brush to buy. Some chimneys are square or rectangle, while others are round. Once you have determined which brush is best for your chimney, you need to decide whether you are more comfortable climbing up on top of your roof to clean or sitting next to your fireplace.
Wood stoves built during the 1970s and early 1980s offer efficiencies of 50 to 60 percent. Those built since new governmental requirements were put in place in 1988 offer 75 percent or higher overall efficiency; that is, they convert up to 75 percent or more of their fuel into heat. Concern about particulate emissions or air pollution carried by wood smoke have also forced changes in wood stove designs. Although old wood stoves gave off up to 50 grams of particulates per hour in smoke, new certified stoves give off only about 5 grams. Most new wood stoves are energy efficient, environmentally friendly and come in many styles and colors. If you thought that wood stoves only came in black and belched smoke then think again. The new wood stoves are energy efficient, clean burning and there is a wood stove to fit any home or life style.