Seasonal Upkeep Tips for Gas & Wood Fireplaces
Inglenook Energy Center’s experts help customers prepare their fireplaces for the winter burn season in the communities of the West Denver Metro & Front Range area, including Conifer CO, Sedalia, Salida, Franktown, Lake George, Buffalo Creek, Morrison, Boulder and the surrounding towns & communities in Jefferson County, Denver County, & Summit County.
Autumn leaves are falling, and now is the time to take care of seasonal upkeep for both wood and gas fireplaces. Modern fireplaces are excellent sources of supplemental heat. You want to be ready when the time is right for a warm, cozy fire. Many people make the mistake of using their fireplace without tending to maintenance. A significant number of home fires associated with fireplaces are the direct result of neglecting seasonal upkeep. The following are helpful tips to get your fireplace ready for winter.
Gas fireplaces are the epitome of convenience, making it possible to enjoy the warmth of a fire with the flip of a switch. Gas fireplaces don’t involve the potentially hazardous messes associated with wood-burning fireplaces, either, such as creosote in the chimney and ash in the firebox. Annual inspections are still considered by experts to be important for safety reasons, however. The following are seasonal upkeep tips for gas fireplaces:
- Schedule a qualified professional to conduct an inspection and perform needed maintenance on your gas fireplace. Although chances are good that everything looks like it’s in top condition, there could be some unseen problems. The performance of your gas fireplace can be hindered if dust or insects are interfering with the combustion systems. Pilot and main burner airways need regular cleaning, to ensure proper operation. The entire system, including safety controls, should undergo a general inspection.
- If your gas fireplace has a blower, it needs to be cleaned manually. There isn’t a filtering system on fireplaces, though there are on furnaces. If dust accumulates on the blower blades of your fireplace, there could be premature wear and tear that damages the fan. The dust can also prevent cooling of the motor, which can cause it to suddenly shut down.
- Get ready for winter by putting fresh batteries in remote transmitters for your gas fireplace.
There is a distinct enjoyment that only a wood-burning fireplace can provide, from the crackle of the wood to the aroma. It is essential, however, to tend to annual maintenance before that first fire is lit in winter. When you have a wood-fueled fireplace, there are many more components of your heating system to maintain, as compared with gas fireplaces. The following are seasonal upkeep tips for wood-burning fireplaces:
- Schedule an annual chimney inspection. In addition to determining whether creosote needs to be removed, the flue liner can be checked. An intact flue liner is a critical safety issue.
- Remove any buildup of creosote at or above 1/8”, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Creosote is highly flammable and can increase the possibility of a hazardous chimney fire. In addition, too much creosote can obstruct the chimney, which can cause toxic fumes to enter the home.
- Check the gaskets and glass doors. As needed, replace or repair the gaskets. This is important because if excess air leaks into the firebox, it can create conditions of overfiring, which can permanently damage the appliance.
- Check the refractory materials in the firebox and repair or replace as needed. Same as with the flue liner, these components protect combustible materials from extreme temperatures.
Just before winter, chimney technicians get especially busy. Be sure to schedule annual maintenance before winter arrives. Contact us at Inglenook Energy Center to buy a zero-clearance gas, wood, or pellet stove or fireplace and have it installed in your home before the next snowfall.