Henriette Fireplace February 15th, 2018 - 10:15:44
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.
This is not the case, heat from your fireplace will radiate out through the glass even if the glass-doors are closed, so a good way to use your glass-doors is to burn the fireplace with the glass-doors open and the safety screen closed. In this way you have all the beauty and ambience of your fire before you. If your fireplace is equipped with outside air or make up air you can also burn the fireplace with the glass doors shut and the safety screen open, in this mode you will be able to see your beautiful fire and feel the radiant heat, but not be losing any of the air in the room up the chimney. Make up air or outside air can be installed on most fireplaces if you dont have it in your fireplace now. These two things will also overcome the reasons that some fireplaces smoke, and also why your fireplace has a drafty smokey smell to it when it is not being used. Just for those two reasons every fireplace should have glass-doors installed on them.
The next step is to clean those well-used fireplace tools and fireplace grate. Black soot and resin can easily build up on your tools and can make them unsightly and grungy-looking. Here are a few simple steps to help bring back their original luster and shine. Take your fireplace grate and tools outside and give them a good hosing down. This will quickly remove all of the loose soot and dirt from the surface. For the fireplace grate, fill a bucket with hot water and a small amount of abrasive cleaner. Scrub with a steel wool pad to remove the caked on resin and soot. You may need to use a stiff-bristled brush to get the really bad parts. For the fireplace tools, use hot water and a small amount of ammonia cleaner. Avoid using abrasives, as these may scratch the finish on your tools. You may use a scrub brush to get the stubborn dirt particles, but use caution so as not to damage the surface.
The best reason I have saved for last and that is, your fireplace is costing you heat loss all day and night even when your not using it. The reason is that your damper in your fireplace is not airtight they are made that way to maintain a certain amount of clearance even when they are closed. So If you have a fireplace that does not have a glass-door you are wasting energy, up and out the chimney. In this article its easy to see how you can get more heat out of your fireplace with just a few small changes, that will let you burn outside air instead of the air that you already paid to heat, and by installing glass-doors to stop heat loss.