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Seasonal Fireplace Maintenance

Everyone enjoys a fireplace on a cold night. So, it is no surprise that they are popular home features, and we love including them in new KCI Homes designs. They do wonders at chasing chill and dampness away but also add great character to a room year around. Decorating the mantle for seasonal change and holidays makes them welcome regardless of the weather. Summer is the best time to make sure it is prepared for cold weather's return. Here is our maintenance checklist to get you started:

THE DAMPER

You should always close the damper on a wood-burning fireplace when it is not in use. Not just when warm spring days arrive but also in between every fire. If you do not, the chimney is drawing conditioned air out of your house and wasting energy used in heating and cooling. Gas- burning fireplace experts, however, advise the opposite. Leaving the damper open provides a safety mechanism should you have a gas leak.

CLEANING

A fireplace, its chimney, and the area around the hearth need cleaning when the cold season ends. Start with a good chimney sweeping to remove built up soot and creosote. The creosote, a flammable carbon mass from firewood, collects near the top of your chimney. Cleaning the chimney annually guards against chimney fires and blockages that cause harmful smoke and fume backdrafts. Next, clean the firebox thoroughly. Vacuum the hearth and surrounding surfaces to remove all traces of soot and ash dust. Finish it off by washing the hearth, mantle, and firebox surround.

INSPECTION

This is a task for a professional chimney inspector to ensure it is free of potential hazards. Many chimney sweep services also offer inspection. However, do make sure they are certified. Why is inspection important? They look for cracks and weak spots, leaks, and blockages. All these things can cause you problems, including dangerous chimney fires that can burn down a house. Blockages work against proper drafting, which can send noxious fumes back into the room.

That is all there is to keeping your fireplace well-maintained. We hope you find this information useful for keeping your home in great shape. Be sure to check out our other homeowner guides. At KCI Homes, we think that sharing good resources helps everyone make home a better, more efficient place. You will find them all right here in our blog.

By KCI Homes 7-30-2020

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