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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Simple Steps to Prep your Fireplace for Fall

It may not feel like it yet, but fall is just around the corner (Sept 22nd to be exact). And even though we don't have chilly winds or the need to worry about heating our homes just yet, there are a few steps that can be taken now to prep for fall. Below are a few suggestions to get your home ready for cooler weather.

1. Give it a good clean

Make sure the fireplace is free of ash, debris and all creosote (unburned fuel) that could contribute to unwanted fires. A good cleaning also reduces the risk of Carbon Monoxide build up in your home. 

2. Inspect the exterior

Check the exterior for limbs, debris, and bird or wildlife communities. The chimney cap should be securely in place and in good working condition. Check for signs of moisture on the inside, which could indicate a faulty chimney cap. 

3. Don't forget the flue

With a flashlight, inspect the interior flue to see that it is in proper working condition and seals correctly. The flue should also get a good polish and scrub to ensure it is free of creosote and debris. 

4. Check your gas log components

If you have gas logs, which tend to burn cleaner than traditional wood burning fireplaces, don't think you're off the hook. The ignition should be tested and the system checked for clogged burner holes at least annually.

5. Call a Pro

Even if you're the most conscientious DIY homeowner, it's still a good idea to have the chimney, venting and furnace system inspected by a pro.  Wondering where to find a Chimney Sweep? Try the Chimney Safety Institute of America - - where you can find a CSIA Certified Pro in your area.

Bonus Tip:

Reverse your ceiling fans- so that they rotate in a clockwise manner- to help push hot air down from ceiling. This is especially effective in areas with high ceilings and may help reduce your overall heating costs for the coming winter.