So, you have decided to make the move and upgrade your home in a big way. You’re making a change that will pay for itself several times over, potentially reducing your energy bill and creating a gathering place for your friends and family during these brutally cold Ottawa winters. And perhaps, most importantly, raise the value of your home.
As far as we’re concerned, there aren’t any downsides to getting a fireplace, and if you’re getting one, it means you feel the same way. In order to make sure your newly purchased fireplace is in top working condition for as long as possible, there are some maintenance habits you need to know. These will be helpful to know whether you’re choosing a wood-burning fireplace, a gas fireplace or an electric fireplace. These tips will ensure your fireplace stays almost new for the foreseeable future.
Educate Yourself on What You Can Burn
If you have a wood-burning fireplace it’s probably tempting to give in to your childhood fantasies and burn every twig you can find. This isn’t a good idea. Certain types of wood can produce more smoke and build-up in your chimney which will be pricey to clean in the long run. They can also stink up your home if you’re not careful! Instead, stick with a sweet-smelling hardwood that has been chopped up and kept in a cool, dry place.
Check for Buildup
Regularly check for buildup in your vents and chimneys. Whether from burning soft wood or from regular use, it is natural for buildup to occur in vents and chimneys from wood-burning or gas fireplaces. Buildup should be monitored regularly. Unless you are a professional, don’t try to clean it out yourself. You might miss some of it or break something in the process which could lead to expensive repairs.
Clean Your Firebox Regularly
Cleaning your firebox should become as frequent as vacuuming your house. Remove any leftover ash from burned wood and make sure your fireplace is free of any other particles. This will remove any fire hazards. Cleaning your firebox doesn’t only apply to wood-burning fireplaces. Gas-powered and electric fireplaces need to be dusted regularly to ensure there is no buildup or flammable substances in the fireplace that could prove a danger to your home.
Keep an Eye on Wiring
When using your new electrical fireplace it’s important to inspect the wiring closely. For people dealing with rodents, there’s an unfortunate chance that your unwelcome guests could take a liking to the wiring and chew on it. Even if you have, thankfully, never been visited by rodents, there are still many things that could affect the wiring. From people stepping on it, to bending it by mistake, or by placing furniture on it. All these things could affect how your new fireplace works and should be carefully monitored.
Keep Flammable Items Away
This seems like an obvious point but people do tend to forget that wood and gas fireplaces do, in fact, burn. This means flammable items placed near the fireplace will burn as well. For new fireplace owners, it might take a while to remember not to place items like rugs or books too close to the fireplace. While this isn’t so much of a maintenance tip for your fireplace, it will save your house from any damage that might result from your items catching on fire.
Consult a Professional
To keep your new fireplace in the best working condition, you must have a professional involved with every stage of the process – From the purchase and installation to the maintenance that follows afterwards. Buying a fireplace is a big decision that will positively improve the state of your home so it is important that you have some expert help so everything goes according to plan.
Many businesses sell and install fireplaces but there are few that have the expert knowledge that we have. Here at the Fireplace Centre, we have been a trusted one-stop-shop for customers for decades. We are excited to help you embark on this journey of choosing and maintaining your new fireplace. Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to give you the best advice possible!