How to Prevent Chimney Fires
As the weather cools down and we start lighting up our wood burning stoves and fireplaces, it’s important to make sure your chimney is in great shape. A neglected chimney could easily start a fire and cause serious damage to your home. Luckily, regular maintenance can prevent this problem. Here’s what you can do to make sure you chimney is ready for the Fall and Winter seasons.
Schedule regular inspections & cleanings. If you use your fireplace or wood burning stove frequently, you should schedule an inspection once every year. A professional will be able to tell you of any repairs that need to be done, or if you’re due for a for a cleaning. Typically, if smoke is coming into your home rather than going up the pipe, it’s a sign it’s time for a cleaning.
Make sure your firewood is dry. One of the most important and easiest things you can do is make sure your firewood is dry before burning it. Dry wood burns hotter than damp wood, and damp wood can actually cause more smoke and create a substance build up in your chimney.
Burn hardwoods. Find the hardest wood you can to use as firewood. Hardwood burns cleaner and create less substance build up in your chimney than softer woods. Burning sappy trees, like pine, will require more frequent cleanings and maintenance.
Use your fireplace regularly. Using your fireplace or stove regularly and allowing it to burn at around the same temperature each time helps prevent substance build up. There’s devices you can purchase and install that measure the temperature of your fireplace. This will let you know if your fire is burning consistently at the same heat level.
Burn a creosote substance remover. The substance that builds up in your chimney is called creosote. If you are noticing you have build up, you can put this in your stove or chimney and burn it with your regular firewood. While it’s not a replacement for a proper cleaning, it will help remove some of the existing substance.
We hope you safely enjoy the warmth of your fireplace this season. We know we will be doing the same!