Summer is the best time for fireplace inspections and cleanings! In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Let’s be honest; most homeowners don’t even think about their fireplace during the summer. Instead, their minds are filled with thoughts of family vacations and outdoor activities. After the long, cold winters and rainy springs that we’re used to here in the northeast, it should come as no surprise that people just want to get out of the house and boost their serotonin levels! The fireplace only comes to mind again when it starts to get cold outside.
Facts vs Fiction
There’s a myth that has circulated around for decades that fireplaces only require maintenance every five years or so. The more you use a fireplace, the dirtier it gets, whether it’s wood- or gas-burning. You should have your fireplace given a professional cleaning once a year if you use it often enough, along with the maintenance to ensure that there are no developing problems.
Keeping your home’s fireplace clean and in good working condition is important not only for appearances, but also for your safety and to keep your fireplace running efficiently. A fireplace technician will make sure that the fireplace vents properly, the gas lines are unclogged, the dampers are in good shape, and there is no dangerous creosote buildup.
A fireplace that’s developed a residue buildup from exhaust can become a dangerous fireplace quickly. Normally, your fireplace is no more hazardous than any other heating system that could be installed in your home. However, it quickly becomes a completely different story if that same fireplace doesn’t receive regular cleaning and maintenance.
The Main Culprit
Creosote, the black substance left over from the incomplete combustion of wood, is highly combustible and can easily ignite and lead to a harmful (and possibly deadly) chimney or house fire. Too much dirt and/or debris on and around the burner in a gas fireplace will negatively impact its performance. A burner with a layer of grime may have trouble drawing in sufficient amounts of oxygen to light; this may result in difficulty turning on your gas unit and/or it refusing to light altogether.
The professionals at Northeastern Fireplace & Design would like to encourage you to change your way of thinking when it comes to fireplace service. Fireplace safety should occupy an important place in our minds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, as it can help you to keep your family out of harm’s way. Any recommendations that we give you when we are at your home are for the safety of your family and longevity of your home, as it is our mission to provide our customers with not only a service, but an experience.
We encourage you to call to schedule an appointment to have your fireplace serviced and/or replaced (if you so choose) as soon as you stop using it at the end of the heating season. If you’re accustomed to scheduling a fireplace service appointment in the fall or winter, consider scheduling during the summer from now on. This will allow you to focus on more pressing issues when the cooler months start creeping back in.