Preparing Your Chimney for Cold Weather


With cooler temperatures just around the corner, now is the time to start getting your fireplace ready to be used safely this winter. Using your fireplace to warm your home can help you save money on your heating costs, but you want this heating appliance to be sufficiently prepared before you light that first fire. Remember that, according to This Old House, 42 percent of all home-heating fires involve fireplaces and chimneys, which is why preparing your fireplace for cold weather is so important. Ace Chimney Sweeps would like to share with you some tips on how to get your fireplace ready for the burning season.

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Schedule a professional chimney sweeping and inspection.

Recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and other national fire safety organizations, an annual chimney sweeping and inspection ensures your fireplace and chimney system work efficiently and safely. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Ace Chimney Sweeps will guarantee there are no fire hazards by cleaning out the accumulated creosote deposits from your chimney and by checking for flue blockages and other possible damage to your system.

Gather your supply of seasoned firewood.

To burn the best fires this winter, you will want to be sure your firewood has been seasoned, or dried, for at least six months after it has been cut. If you do not cut your own firewood, ask your friends and neighbors to recommend a trustworthy firewood dealer in your area who sells seasoned firewood. Burning seasoned firewood reduces the amount of creosote deposits and gives you cleaner and longer-lasting fires.

Do not overload your fireplace with wood.

Burning smaller fires creates less smoke and fewer accumulations of creosote building up on your chimney walls. Stack the larger logs on the bottom, and place smaller pieces of firewood on top, with a layer of kindling at the very top of this stack. Light the fire from the top to enjoy a long-burning fire. Never use liquid accelerants to help ignite a fire in your fireplace.

Use a spark guard to prevent fire hazards.

If you do not have glass fireplace doors, place a mesh metal screen in front of the fireplace to keep hot embers from shooting out of the firebox and into your home. You always want to be sure you have a spark guard in front of an open flame.

Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

To protect yourself, your family, and your home from a devastating fire, be sure the batteries in your smoke alarms are working properly. You also want to ensure your carbon monoxide detectors are working to prevent poisoning from this toxic gas.

For more tips on preparing your fireplace for cold weather, contact us at Ace Chimney Sweeps. We love helping our customers get ready to enjoy warm, cozy, and safe fires in their homes.