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7 Ways to Get the Most from your Fireplace

A fireplace is a popular feature in many homes, but its ability to transfer heat can be less than optimal if it’s not used efficiently. As we journey into the heart of winter, here are some timely tips for getting the most warmth out of your next fire.

1. Keep up with professional inspections.

A structurally sound chimney is essential for a safe and efficient fire. Annual inspections prevent minor issues from becoming a more significant problem. By proactively maintaining your system, you can be sure your fireplace and chimney are in prime condition to work effectively. During an inspection, your technician will check your chimney and fireplace from the inside out; looking for structural damage and signs of moisture, inspecting the damper, and removing grime and creosote buildup.

2. Monitor for any changes or problems.

Keeping track of the performance of your fireplace and chimney is important to catch any changes or irregularities. If you think your system isn’t operating as it should, contact our professional chimney technicians to address your concerns.

3. Schedule professional cleanings at least once a year.

Soot and creosote are a natural byproduct of burning wood that coat the inside of your chimney. When built up, they reduce the overall diameter inside your chimney, impacting its ability to effectively draw air from your fireplace. A clean, obstruction-free chimney improves the overall draft, maximizing the potential draw of your fireplace, feeding more air to the fire, helping it burn correctly, and increasing its heat output.

4. Clean the inside of your fireplace.

In addition to professional sweepings, periodically clean the inside of your fireplace to help your fires burn properly and more efficiently. Sweep up excess ash when it reaches the bottom of the grate to encourage proper air circulation for efficient-burning fires. Leave one or two inches of ash within your fireplace at all times to help insulate the new bed of hot coals in the next fire and improve its heat output.

5. Use the right wood.

Using the right kind of wood will guarantee that your fire lasts a long time and produces the most heat possible. The high moisture content of green or wet firewood causes a fire to be inefficient and burn out more quickly. For a warmer, longer lasting fire, burn seasoned or dried hardwood, such as maple or oak.

6. Fully open the damper before starting a fire.

In order for your fire to burn effectively, it needs plenty of oxygen. Open your damper all the way to allow for maximum draw of air up the chimney. This will increase the airflow and allow your wood to burn hotter and faster. Be sure to close the damper between fires to prevent the loss of warm air from your home.

7. Circulate the air.

As most fireplace users know, the warmth from your fire tends to stay in the area immediately around your wood-burning appliance–rather than circulating efficiently through your home. You can help move trapped hot air near the ceiling by running your ceiling fan counterclockwise at low speed. This helps redirect warm air from the ceiling down the walls and into the living space.

Chimney Inspection, Cleaning, Service, and Repair in NH and MA

Using the right wood-burning techniques and regular fireplace and chimney maintenance will help you get the most out of your system. If your chimney and fireplace are due for service or are in need of a repair, contact Admiralty Chimney’s CCP-certified technicians. We’re your full-service chimney company.

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