As the weather begins to warm, you’ll probably stop using your fireplace. Whether you have a wood-burning or gas fireplace, the Georgia summers are simply too hot for it. You can still maintain your fireplace during this time of year, however. By following these five simple maintenance tips, you can rest assured knowing that your fireplace will be ready for the cool weather.
#1) Clean Out the Firebox
There’s no better time than the beginning of summer to clean out the firebox. The firebox is the inner box of your fireplace. It’s the main compartment in which you build fires. With a wood-burning fireplace, ashes will accumulate inside of the firebox. Failure to clean them out may result in carpet stains, or if the ashes accumulate moisture, it may rust and corrosion inside of the firebox.
#2) Get Gas Logs Serviced
If you have a gas fireplace, you should consider getting the logs professionally serviced. Gas fireplaces don’t produce ash like wood-burning fireplaces. They typically feature a set of ceramic gas logs over a burner assembly. Dust and dirt may accumulate on the gas logs, especially during the summer. Servicing involves cleaning and arranging gas logs.
#3) Double-Check the Damper
You should double-check the damper to ensure that it’s closed. The damper is a valve that’s designed to control airflow into and out of the chimney. When using your fireplace, you should keep the damper completely open. Otherwise, smoke will build up inside of your home. During the summer – or other times when you aren’t using your fireplace – you should keep the damper completely closed.
#4) Move Unused Firewood Outdoors
If you have any unused firewood sitting in front of your fireplace, you may want to transport it outdoors. Firewood can attract pests. Termites, beetles and other pests are attracted to the cellulose within firewood. By moving unused firewood outdoors, you can keep these pests out of your home. Just remember to store your unused firewood off the ground.
#5) Consider a Chimney Cleaning Service
You may want to get your chimney cleaned during the summer as well. Chimneys will inevitably get dirty. The more you use your fireplace, the more soot and debris will accumulate inside of your chimney. Some of this soot can be flammable. As a result, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that homeowners can get their chimney inspected, and cleaned if necessary, at least once a year.