Wood-burning fireplaces can save you money by supplementing your main heating source. Also, that warm, cozy glow can’t be beat on a cold wintry night! Before you light it up, though, make sure it’s operating safely.
It’s a good idea to make sure smoke can travel through your chimney efficiently. Check connections to your chimney system to make sure the joints are still sealed tightly and venting systems aren’t clogged. One key to making sure your wood-burning fireplace is operating at peak efficiency is to make an effort to dispose of the ashes consistently. To make this easier, keep an ash bucket next to your fireplace. For optimal burning, use dried or “seasoned” firewood. Seasoned wood has a moisture content of less than 20 percent. Firewood that isn’t seasoned properly:
· Can be hard to light and just as hard to keep burning
· Can cause tars and creosote to line the inside areas of your fireplace and blacken the glass windows
· Can produce a lot of blue-gray smoke
Seasoned wood has another important benefit—when wood is properly cut, dried, and stacked, mold has less opportunity to grow on it.
Having a professional clean your chimney and conduct maintenance on an annual basis will give you peace of mind and keep you safe.