Roy Gilbert

It’s Lit! 6 Tips for Maintaining a Wood-Burning Fireplace

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Brrr! With temperatures tumbling, there’s nothing better than nestling in some cozy blankets in front of a wood-burning fireplace . The sound of crackling wood and the heat radiating on your tootsies is just so, so comforting. However, you have to put in some work before you can relax: Your fireplace requires maintenance to ensure that it functions well and safely.

This is especially important in winter , when the risk of heating-related fires increases. Half of all U.S. home heating fires occur in December, January, and February, according to Susan McKelvey , a spokeswoman for the National Fire Protection Association.

“Make sure your heating systems are cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional,” McKelvey says.

Thinking about firing up the hearth? Here are six tips for maintaining your wood-burning fireplace. 1. Regularly clean the interior

Burning wood in fireplaces can release pollutants in the air and leave a buildup of dust, ash, and creosote, which can cause fires. Also watch for any accumulation of soot, which is softer than creosote, is flammable, and must be regularly cleaned from the chimney.

The NFPA recommends chimneys be cleaned at least once a year, at the beginning of winter, to remove soot and debris.“For serious wood burners, chimney cleaning must be done as needed to avoid chimney fires. The venting systems may need to be cleaned as often as once a month,” says Rich Sedgwick , director of sales and marketing for the National Fireplace Institute. 2. Cap it Use a […]

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