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Henriette Fireplace February 10th, 2018 - 12:59:16
The first rule for any fire to burn in an efficient way, is what type of fuel are you burning? For a wood-burning fireplace to burn well you need to burn good quality, dry seasoned wood. When you burn quality seasoned wood the fire will burn cleaner, hotter and increase your fireplace efficiency. You may say I am already using good quality seasoned wood to help my fireplace burn well, but I still want my fireplace to improve its efficiency. There are still several other things that you can do to improve the efficiency of your fireplace another 25% or more. Every and I mean every fireplace should have a glass-door installed on it, if only for safety reasons, installing a glass door is one of the best ways of improving your fireplace efficiency for a very small cost. You might be thinking that if I put glass-doors on my fireplace the heat will stay behind the glass and just go up the chimney.
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.
If you decide that cleaning your chimney from the top will work better for you, you will need to have a long piece of rope and some type of weight attached to the bottom of the chimney brush. Again, as you work the brush through the chimney, use a back and forth motion to be sure you are scraping off as much creosote as possible. If you do choose to use this method, make sure that you do it with safety precautions in place. Falling off the roof is never a good idea! Chimney sweeps are another excellent option for cleaning your chimney. These professionals can make sure that all aspects of your chimney are up to safety standards. Look for a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in your area to ensure that your fireplace is properly cared for.
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.