It’s bittersweet, but it’s September and summer is almost over. On the upside, that means it’s the perfect time to start looking forward to the cool fall weather, harvest, beautiful colors, and yes, opening up your indoor fireplace for the year.
Of course, if you just throw logs in there and light them up, or just turn it on, you could be asking for problems. It’s important to get everything in order before that first ignition. Check out these important steps, tips, and advice to take as you prepare a fireplace for the fall, and where to call for help if you need it.
To prepare a fireplace for fall, you’ll want to take care of some basic maintenance and cleaning tasks to ensure that your fireplace will function as intended this year, and keep you safe and warm throughout the cold months of the year. The exact steps, however, will vary based on whether it’s a wood burning or gas fireplace.
If your fireplace is a traditional wood-burner, make sure you have a professional chimney sweeper come in to check out your flue and make sure everything is clear, that there are no creosote deposits that can catch on fire. Check and replace all the gaskets for the doors, damper and dump inspected and replaced, replace broken or damaged bricks in the lining. All of these are important to avoid over-fires, droughts and other conditions that can create danger for you and your family.
If you have a gas fireplace, make sure you thoroughly disassemble and clean all the parts according to the instructions in your owner’s manual. Make sure you sweep out and remove any debris, keep the burners clear of rust and contaminants, and clean the blower (if you have one). If you have a remote control, make sure it has fresh batteries. It never hurts to schedule a professional cleaning and maintenance appointment on an annual basis, either.
Carbon Monoxide is an insidious killer. Many people die from CO poisoning every year without ever knowing they had it in their home. It’s colorless, odorless, and it comes from — you guessed it — burning things. Every fireplace, whether gas or wood-burning, produces carbon monoxide. Properly vented fireplaces are designed to allow this gas to disperse harmlessly outside your home, and ventless fireplaces are designed to burn in such a way as to minimize the amount of CO gas created.
However, any fireplace can cause carbon monoxide to get in your home. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector properly placed in your home (about 5 inches from the ceiling and not right next to the fireplace), and that the batteries are fresh. If you notice symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, blurred vision, shortness of breath or the like, call a doctor and get out immediately.
If you live in the Bowling Green, KY, area and would like professional service to prepare a fireplace for the fall, Emberside is ready to help with your gas burner unit. Give us a call today!