Everything You Need To Know About Your Wood-Burning Fireplace

Everything You Need To Know About Your Wood-Burning Fireplace

If you live in the greater Snohomish County area it’s obvious to see fall is making its way into winter. The leaves are changing and your home is getting formidably colder by the day. Typically all homes come outfitted with a wood-burning fireplace. If you just moved into your home there is a chance your fireplace hasn’t been active in a while.

 

There are factors to consider such as the overall state of your chimney and any potential blockage. There’s also a wrong way to keep a well lit fire in your fireplace. For this reason we’ve put together the complete how-to guide for using, cleaning, and playing safely with your wood-burning fireplace.

How To Build A Fire

If you’re just moving in to the house, get the chimney inspected! Try Murphy’s Chimney Service out of Edmonds if you’re unsure of a reliable service provider in your area. Next you’ll want to make sure you’ve cleaned out any old ashes, also checking the damper to make sure it’s open and functions properly.

After you’ve made sure your fireplace is ready, lay down some kindling over a balled-up piece of newspaper. You’ll then want to open the flue of the chimney by lighting a piece of newspaper freely in the fireplace. This step is important as it heats up the cold air in the chimney so you don’t get a bunch of smoke in your face when you light the kindling.

 

After you light the newspaper and kindling gently fan the flames to produce embers and then put on a larger log. You’ll know a log is ready for burning if it makes a hollow sound when knocked against another big piece of dry wood.

How Often Should I Clean The Chimney?

Over time a creosote and soot buildup can reduce airflow, cause smoke to back-up, and in the worst case scenario create a risk of fire. To avoid this it’s advisable to have your fireplace and chimney inspected annually by a professional.

 

When the layer of residue is about an eighth of an inch thick they will likely recommend a cleaning. If you ever notice any large buildup of debris in the fireplace itself put on a dust mask and sweep it out, scrubbing the surfaces with a brush and dishwashing liquid.

Is A Wood-Burning Fireplace Cost-Efficient?

It actually varies depending on the position of the fireplace within your home. Despite being a more antiquated charm to any home, a wood-burning fireplace actually wastes a lot of heat. A lot of heat escapes through the chimney because (as we all know) heat rises. If your fireplace is located against an outside wall it will lose even more heat from cold outdoor air.

 

Gas fireplaces are surprisingly more efficient though it can be expensive to install one in your home, or a waste of money if you’re renting. Especially if you need to make changes to the chimney. If you plan to sell the house later on it might be a good idea to improve the home and upsell it later on because of the improvements you’ve made.

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