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Get Your Wood Stove or Fireplace Ready For Winter

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Get Your Wood Stove or Fireplace Ready For Winter

Heating season is on its way and now is the perfect time to tackle the annual maintenance on your wood stove or fireplace. An essential safety task, this job is also important to maintain the efficiency of your appliance and to detect any wear and tear.

No matter what fuel your fireplace or stove uses, annual maintenance is necessary. When wood burning is your alternative fuel choice, there are certain common sense tasks that need to be completed. But even when burning natural gas or pellets there are necessary inspections and cleaning work that should be scheduled before the heat comes on.

Burning Wood

The chimney on your wood stove or fireplace will need to be inspected and cleaned. Contact a certified, experienced professional to handle this for you. They will use up to date equipment and essential safety procedures to ensure a thorough job is done.

It's important to remove the creosote build up from your chimney every year. Official stats record that there are over 25,000 chimney fires that break out annually due to creosote build up. A professional chimney sweep will have the knowledge, products and equipment to complete this job and create a safe environment in your home.

Some of the maintenance on your wood stove and fireplace can be done yourself. The more simple tasks involved are:

  • vacuum ashes from the firebox
  • clean the glass door using specialty fireplace glass cleaner
  • check the doors for proper operation and seal
  • inspect damper and ensure it is opening and closing properly
  • source out a supply of clean, seasoned hardwood
  • stack safely in a log rack the proper distance away from your home

Your chimney sweep may also perform the inspection on your fireplace or wood stove, including the flue, firebox and stove pipe, if applicable.

Burning Natural Gas

Using a gas fireplace or gas stove is a convenient and efficient way to heat your home. But even those units need to be cleaned and inspected on an annual basis to ensure the components are operating well.

Contact a gas fireplace retailer to book a service appointment with a qualified technician. That professional will inspect the pilot light and the ignition system, as well as the venting and dampers. If there is a chimney in your system (as is often the case with gas inserts), it will need to be cleaned and the gas connections will need to be tested for a tight seal.

Although you may be more comfortable letting a professional service your direct vent gas fireplace, if there is an operable door there are a few tasks you can complete ahead of time.

  • vacuum the firebox, removing dust and cobwebs
  • clean the log set with a damp cloth
  • clean the glass door using specialty fireplace glass cleaner
  • check the doors for proper operation and seal

Hire an experienced technician to handle this annual maintenance task for you. It's a good idea to book the same technician every year, that way they can keep a close eye on your system and note the rate of wear before they recommend repairs.

If there are repairs necessary, now is the time to take care of them. Before the snow flies and you need the fireplace ready to go, have the repairs done. That way you can rest easy and warm this winter.

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