Winter is almost upon us!Are you lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home? If so, be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure it’s ready to use before lighting it up. Your fireplace is actually a complex “appliance,” of sorts, and its maintenance can have a drastic effect on everything from the quality of the air you breathe to the overall performance of your heating system.
Hire a Chimney Sweep
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, the National Fire Protection Association recommends you have it professionally swept at least once a year. Chimney sweeps have the tools and know-how to clean your entire chimney and fireplace, keeping build up from becoming a fire hazard. If you have a gas or electric fireplace, you can skip this step.
Clean and Clear
No matter what kind of fireplace you have, it’s important that it be clean before you begin burning anything. If there’s an ash dump or a blower, make sure those are completely clean and free of debris. Also remember never to use “green” wood as it can cause excess smoke and deposits to build up inside your chimney cavity.
You should give your entire chimney/fireplace system a once-over each year. Anytime you have a professional roofer on the roof, ask them to check the structural viability of your chimney for loose bricks or cracks. You can inspect interior components like the damper valve or spark guard yourself.
Feel for Drafts
Is your chimney drafty? If so, you’ll want to close the flu between every use to ensure your heated air isn’t escaping through the chimney. (Always be sure to cool the fireplace completely before closing the flu!) If there are new drafts or drafts you can’t seem to stop no matter how hard you close the flu, call in an HVAC specialist to take a look at the functionality of your entire heating system.
Particularly if you have a gas fireplace, it’s critical have at least one carbon monoxide alarm installed on every floor of your home. They’re best installed low to the ground since CO2 is heavier than air. Smoke detectors are required by law and also a critical safety component of any occupied space. Check the batteries manually on both before cranking up your fireplace.
Fall is the perfect time of year to get your fireplace roaring-ready.
MTB Mechanical has been providing Charlotteans affordable heating inspections, maintenance, and replacements for decades – how can we help you prepare for winter this year?
Contact MTB Mechanical today for a comprehensive winter HVAC checkup.
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