Owning a fireplace is a wonderful opportunity. There's nothing warmer and cozier than sitting in front of a warm fireplace watching the orange flames. Unfortunately, fireplaces take work and regular maintenance. If you've been having problems with the fireplace smoking, you may have some work ahead of you. You definitely should not continue to use it until you take care of the smoking problem. Smoke such as this is not only bad for your health, but will also stain your walls and clothes.
The chimney should be the first thing you look at. Start by opening up the damper and stoking the chimney. Burn some newspaper of safe material in the fireplace to the get the warm air in the chimney to push the cold air out. When cold air pushes warm air down is when you'll have smoke in your home. Always make sure you use seasoned wood and not green wood, which can cause chimney fires. Get your firewood before fireplace season begins and store it in a firewood storage box to dry out. The smaller the logs you use, the quicker they'll dry and better they'll burn.
Sometimes, you may have to open a window in your home to get the fireplace to light. You need a certain amount of circulation to get the fire going. You may want to begin using bricks to build up your fireplace grate to a higher level. You need air circulation underneath the wood to make it start and the grate may provide the extra circulation.
Often larger fireplaces have problems because their chimney is smaller than the open-hearth part. The size should be balanced with the size of the stove. You may also get a shield to catch any smoke before it circulates in the room. Smoke will also fill up the room if there's not enough air in the room, do turn down the furnace.
Make sure the pipes are always kept clean as this is a major cause of smoke as well as chimney fires. The pipes on the outside can often get plugged from bird nests or other debris. Make sure your pipes are always in good shape as well. Regular maintenance should be done on your chimney and pipes every year before fireplace season begins. The build-up of creosote can damage your fireplace pipes and cause a fire. Hire a professional to come and clean your pipes each year. This is a relatively cheap expense, especially in light of the benefits.
Your fireplace should be a pleasure and not a worry. The important thing is to keep it clean and well maintained and you'll get many good years of service and comfort. There is nothing you'll enjoy more in the spring and fall than sitting in front of a warm crackling fire in the fireplace.
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