The cold season is upon us and it’s time to prep your fireplace. If this is your first cold season, you are likely wondering how to start your fireplace on the first cold evening. For all the questions about fireplace heating in Ephrata, PA, residents trust Taylor Home Comfort.
Steps For Preparing Your Fireplace
Before you light the fireplace, below are some steps to take to ensure the fireplace unit is ready to go:
- Verify the damper is operating.
- Clean out the chimney and hearth.
- Check for any dangerous fire signs. Dangerous situations can arise when there is damage, like cracks, missing mortar, or loose bricks. Verify there isn’t any deterioration or cracking in the liner of the chimney.
- Ensure the top of the chimney is guarded. Make sure the cap has been fitted with side covers made of wire mesh to cover the chimney’s top. Ensuring to avert debris, rain, squirrels, and birds from getting inside. If the cap is harmed or missing, fix or recover the cap.
- Guard the floor around the fireplace.
- If you have a gas fireplace, verify the pilot light is in good operating condition.
Once those items are checked off of the list, you’re ready to prepare for lighting. When choosing the wood to burn in a fireplace, pick a dense wood, like oak. Also, be sure to never overload the fireplace. Too big of a fire gets extremely hot and may crack the chimney. A smaller fire builds up creosote and forms less smoke. A mesh screen or door in front of the fireplace can lessen the number of stray embers.
To light your fireplace, place two sections of firewood on the fireplace’s grate. Next, you need some tender–like a newspaper. Crumple a few pages of the newspaper and set it between each piece of the firewood. Now for the kindling. Put it on top of the firewood and tender. Place a couple more firewood logs over the other ones, ensuring plenty of air around the wood to circulate.
A fireplace requires an annual cleaning and inspection even if it is not in use. A yearly fireplace cleaning is similar to when you give your home a ‘spring cleaning’. Your home needs the flue and chimney clean and in top operating condition. You should also invest in a chimney sweep to get rid of debris and soot-build throughout the season.