Care for Your Fireplace

Some folks can be surprisingly casual about caring for their fireplaces, but we recommend you show more prudence about having a fire inside your home.

Safety is of course the primary goal of fireplace care, but it is not just about safety. It’s also about saving you money by keeping your unit running clean and ensuring it lasts as long as possible.

The three keys to fireplace care are prevention, detection, and proper use.

Prevention

The Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association (HPBA)  recommends annual inspection of wood fireplaces by a National Fireplace Institute (NFI)  certified professional or by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  certified chimney sweep. You should have a similar routine checkup for your gas or electric unit.

It is important to inspect your gaskets, door seals, and chimney annually to ensure the safe and clean operation of your unit. Gas fireplaces should have their burners, gas lines, control units, and condensation checked. 

Keep your chimney and vents clear of obstructions and deposits. If you have a chimney, install a cap at the top to prevent leaves, animals, or other debris from getting in. Clean the chimney when necessary. Your inspector can help you know when that is.

Keep your chimney and vents clear of obstructions and deposits. If you have a chimney, install a cap at the top to prevent leaves, animals, or other debris from getting in. Clean the chimney when necessary. Your inspector can help you know when that is.

The HPBA recommends keeping flammable materials at least three feet away from your fireplace. It’s best to be safe, after all. Be sure your family and guests know that the glass panels on a gas fireplace can be very hot. Consider installing a safety screen.

And always keep a fire extinguisher on hand. We hope it gets dusty with disuse (but make sure you replace it after it expires).

Chimney Caps - Behr Necessities
Smoke detector - Behr Necessities

Detection

Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and change the batteries regularly.

Again, have your fireplace inspected periodically to detect potential problems before they become a danger.

 

Proper Use

Review the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines for proper use.

For wood fireplaces, stock up on seasoned wood, which is drier and easier to burn. Use soft woods to get the fire going and hard woods for a longer-burning fire.

For both wood and pellet units, clean the ashes regularly to keep air flowing.

Wood pile - Behr Necessities

Like any piece of machinery, proper maintenance can give you many long years of safe and efficient use.

If you aren’t a DIYer, we’ve got you covered. We can set you up with a service and maintenance plan that will keep your unit burning clean and functioning safely for years and years.

Schedule an Appointment

Even more tips can be found at hpba.org.