HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN MY CHIMNEY?
This depends a lot on how much you use your fireplace or stove. The National Fire Protection Association says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.
DOES MY GAS FIREPLACE NEED TO BE CLEANED?
Gas fireplaces are becoming very popular in new homes, house remodels and even some advanced level DIY home improvement projects. There are a number of benefits to a gas fireplace including the removal of the chores: chopping, stacking and carrying wood into the house as well as cleaning the ashes left from the previous fire. However, avoiding cleaning your fireplace is not one of those benefits. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), most of the new gas fireplaces still recommend or require an annual chimney cleaning.
DO I REALLY NEED A CHIMNEY CAP?
A chimney cap will prevent animals from entering your home, keep the moisture out, and protect the roof from burning embers starting a house fire.
MY FIREPLACE STINKS, ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER. WHAT CAN I DO?
The smell is due to creosote deposits in the chimney, a natural byproduct of wood burning. The odor is usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high and the air conditioner is turned on. A good sweeping will help.
I HEAT WITH GAS. SHOULD THIS CHIMNEY BE CHECKED TOO?
Without a doubt! Although gas is generally a clean burning fuel, the chimney can become non-functional from bird nests or other debris blocking the flue. Modern furnaces can also cause many problems with the average flues intended to vent the older generation of furnaces. We suggest you check the areas on gas and carbon monoxide for more information.
HOW SHOULD I HANDLE WOOD ASH?
Is it a good idea to remove ashes from the fireplace or wood stove every time you build a fire?
People who burn wood know that the consistent by-product of having a wood fire is ash. While the volume is going to be determined by the actual species of wood; softwoods weigh less and will have the potential to generate more ash. In any case there will always be ash remaining in the combustion chamber after the wood fuel is burned.
There are many ways this ash can be put to good use. Did you know that it is not a good idea to remove the ash from the fireplace or wood stove every time you build a fire? Having a 1-inch layer of ash on the floor of the firebox during the regular heating season will make it easier to build and maintain a fire. The hot coals tend to nestle into the ash and glow, adding more heat to the fuel and reflecting the heat back into the fire.