Spring has finally arrived, and after a cold winter many homeowners are looking forward to enjoying longer days and warmer temperatures. If you are done using your fireplace for the season, however, there are a few things you want to do to ensure your fireplace will be ready to use again next fall.
Closing out your fireplace and chimney for the season is a good way to ensure your entire fireplace system is in working order for the next burning season. The following are four ways you can help close out your fireplace system this spring.
Clean and sweep the fireplace
Cleaning out the firebox is a chore that few homeowners look forward to. However, it is especially important that the fireplace is completely cleaned out at the end of the burning season. In addition to removing any remaining soot and ashes from the firebox, consider using a Shop Vac to get into the nooks, corners, and crannies of the fireplace. Fireplace log racks, ash containers, and other fireplace tools can also benefit from a thorough spring cleaning.
The chimney can also benefit from a thorough spring cleaning. Having your chimney swept at the end of the season can remove any buildup that occurred over the course of the winter and leave your fireplace system ready for next fall.
Inspect the chimney
Freezing temperatures combined with moisture from ice and snow can do serious damage to your chimney system. Water damage from the freeze-thaw cycle can cause masonry to crack and spall in as little as one season; a chimney inspection at the end of the season can identify any new areas of damage that occurred over the winter. Likewise, a chimney inspection can be a useful tool in identifying the cause of ongoing chimney issues such as odors, drafts, leaks, and more.
Turn off the pilot light
While the heat production on gas fireplace can be adjusted for year round use, many homeowners discontinue using their gas fireplaces during the warmer months of spring and summer. If you do not plan on using your gas fireplace for several months, you may want to consider turning off the pilot light. When the pilot is lit it continuously burns gas; while the amount of energy it uses is small, you may be able to save money in turning it off when the fireplace is not in use for several months.
Close the damper
Leaving the damper open when the fireplace is not in use can affect the air temperature in your home and raise your cooling costs during the summer. To avoid losing conditioned air up the chimney – or having unconditioned air come into your home – ensure the damper is closed completely with an air tight seal. If you can still feel air passing through the flue when the damper is completely closed, the damper may need to be replaced.
The burning season may be drawing to a close, but by taking the time to close up your fireplace system it will be ready to use again in the fall. For more information on how to close your system for the season or to schedule chimney services contact Coopertown Services today!