Many homeowners out there feel that fireplaces require little to no maintenance at all. If you are one of them, then understand that like the other appliances in your home, fireplace would also need to undergo routine maintenance checks at least once a year to perform efficiently. In addition to calling in the professionals for a complete maintenance check, here are some simple maintenance tips to get your fireplace ready for the winters.
- Maintenance Tips for Wood Burning Fireplaces
If you have a wood burning fireplace in your home, then here are some of the more important maintenance tips you need to follow for the same. Check the chimney and clean it out properly in order to prevent chimney fires caused by creosote or unburned fuel that may have accumulated there over time.
Inspect gasket materials and repair/replace them accordingly. These include the gasket that seals that door, ash dump and door glass. A failed gasket can lead to leakages in the firebox, thus damaging the fireplace permanently.
Clean the blower properly as it may contain hair, dirt and toxic impurities accumulated over time. Wooden fireplaces do not have a filtering system to keep the blower free of dust and impurities.
Replace the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Test them to make sure they are working fine. This would warn you immediately in case of a fire or leakage of gas.
- Maintenance Tips for Gas Burning Fireplaces
If you have a gas-burning fireplace, then here are the maintenance tips you need to follow for the same.
Check the airways of the main and pilot burners to ensure that they are clean, dirt free and operational.
As in the case of a wood burning fireplace, a gas-burning fireplace does not come with an automatic filter system that keeps the blower free of dirt, hair and other impurities. So make it a point to clean the blower regularly.
Replace the batteries in the transmitters and receivers. Also, check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure that they are operating properly.
- Electric Fireplaces
If you have an electric fireplace, then you need not to clean the blower that has an automatic filtering system to remove dirt and impurities. However, the fireplace would still need maintenance, the most important of which is hereunder.
Firebox, Control Compartment and Glass
Use a small brush and vacuum to clean the control compartment and firebox. Also make it a point to use mild soap water to clean the glass (avoid glass cleaners). Use a dry cloth to buff the glass in order to remove dust particles.
Experts also suggest cleaning the glass in front of the fireplace with a homemade solution made by combining equal parts of vinegar and water. If your glass collects a lot of soot, then you would need to adjust the fireplace to burn cleanly.
The light bulbs in an electric fireplace tend to become dark after some time. So replace them once in three years or so. You can also replace them if you start to notice the flame bed becoming darker on one side (the sign of a fading bulb).
Grilles and Louvers
Some fireplaces tend to have grilles or louvers on the front. If your fireplace has one too, then know that these attachments are designed to circulate air in and around the combustion area. This literally means that the fireplace would pull in everything in the air in the nearby vicinity, including pet hair, dust, dirt and other impurities that could prove to be hazardous to health. So ensure that you clean the grilles and louvers regularly to prevent dirt from accumulating on them. You can clean them easily with the help of a regular vacuum.
When taking care of your fireplace, you would need to keep these important maintenance tips in mind. Remember, regular maintenance would keep your fireplace in proper working condition and would reduce costs related to repairs and replacements in the future as well.