Henriette Fireplace February 14th, 2018 - 11:09:57
There are three different styles of gas fireplaces: the direct vent model, the top vent design, and the vent-free model. The direct vent gas fireplace uses two vent pipes that lead directly to the outside. One pipe uses combustion air from the outside while the other vents the exhaust gas. The top vent gas fireplace design can be installed into existing fireplaces and uses the metal or brick chimney as the exhaust vent. The combustion air for top vent fireplaces is drawn from inside the home while the chimney vents the exhaust gas. The vent-free gas fireplace model uses no exhaust vent. This style includes an oxygen-depletion sensor that turns off the gas if it senses a dangerous lack of oxygen inside the house. While fireplace manufacturers claim that vent-free fireplaces burn clean, are energy-efficient and dont threaten indoor air quality, be aware that a number of states do not permit the installation of vent-free fireplaces. In the New England states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut installation of vent-free gas fireplaces is permitted. Massachusetts has in the past not authorized the installation of vent free gas fireplaces for safety reasons.
If you decide that sitting next to the fireplace is the way to go, you will need to make sure you have enough chimney rods to span the entire length of your chimney. As you are sitting next to your fireplace, push your brush up through the flue. Continue to add more brush rods as needed until the brush is at the top of the chimney. As you pull the brush back down, you will need to make a back and forth motion to really scrub the creosote off the walls of the chimney. Be sure to shield your eyes, as some of this loosened creosote may fall into the firebox.
The first thing that you would want to know about your fireplace is it in good working order? As a masonry contractor in the Seattle area we see quite a few chimney every year that are unsafe to burn and need to be repaired. Some of the things that you would want to look for would be, if the fireplace needs repair or has loose brick, smoking problems, water damage, or damper problems. One of the best ways to see if your fireplace is ready to burn is to ask for an inspection from a masonry contractor in your area. Now is the time to start that fire, and as we said above we want the fireplace to burn in an efficient way.
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.