Wood burning fireplaces need regular maintenance to clean out flammable, polluting debris and build-up and check for damage. No news there but did you know your gas burning fireplace also needs regular maintenance? Most manufacturers recommend annual checkups on those too. Spring is actually the best time to have your fireplace checked out according to Jack Pixley Sweeps, a local company that’s been maintaining fireplaces and chimneys for almost 50 years. A spring inspection gives you ample time to get it ready for the next burning season. But better late than never. Here’s what to expect.
Wood Burning Fireplace
If you have 3-4 fires a week during the winter or if you burn unseasoned or soft wood (such as pine) which produce more creosote, you will want to have your chimney cleaned once a year. This consists of sweeping the firebox and lining, usually from the ground up, with a rotary brush. The soot and debris are sucked into a vacuum so it doesn’t enter the house. An inspection will check for cracks in the liner and damage to the chimney cap/topper. For this, the technician will do a visual inspection on the roof and use a camera to examine the liner.
The choice of wood affects your fireplace’s health too. The gold standard is hardwood (such as oak) aged one year or more. This type of wood contains little moisture so it burns long and clean. Firelogs are popular for their convenience and are actually cleaner and safer than cord wood plus they burn just as long. Choose logs that are free of petroleum wax, often labeled “green” or “natural”.
Gas fireplaces can sometimes have buildup too, say if your ceramic logs are deteriorating. Annual maintenance of the insert, log set and chimney ensure that the flow of combustion and ventilation air is not obstructed and you have an efficient, safe unit.
It goes without saying that this isn’t a DIY kind of project. Make sure your chimney sweep is licensed and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute.
RE/MAX Results Collection Home
9626 Crestwood Terrace
Nestled on a gorgeous, sunny .86 acre lot backing up to the Riley Creek Conservation Area. You’ll love the open feel as you enter the entry with gleaming wood floors. The formal dining room with built-in cabinets detailed with uplighting sets the mood. Kitchen has a spacious center island with enameled cabinets, upgraded countertops and walk-in pantry. Eat-in dinette with sunny south facing views of the back yard and nature. Off the kitchen is the greatroom connecting into the family room/den with glass French doors. Cozy and intimate with charming window box seat, bookcase, gas fireplace and beautiful coffered ceiling.
by Laurie Junker