Preparing Your Fireplace for the Spring

Fireplaces need to properly be taken care of when shutting them down for the warmer months. Whether you have a wood burning fireplace or gas, there are steps you need to take to keep yours last longer and staying in good condition!

Wood Burning Fireplace

Clean Up Ash

It is super important to clean out remaining ash and soot left inside the fireplace. It keeps the air quality nice and fresh, as well as restoring the beauty of your hearth. After cleaning out the ash, make sure to close the damper. By doing this, it stops air from entering your home and prevents any remnant ash and soot in the fireplace from blowing in when it’s windy.

Close the Damper

Most people do not need to use their fireplace after April or so, especially in Massachusetts. That being said, there is no need for the damper on staying open. Shutting the damper will help prevent drafts, water leakage during rainy days and will keep out backyard animals. This can also save on energy costs by avoiding any air-conditioning from leaking out.

Scheduling a Chimney Cleaning or Fireplace Inspection 

Many homeowners are not aware that the best time to schedule a chimney cleaning is during the Spring. It is usually more convenient because there are fewer appointments for the professionals during this season. Getting your chimney cleaned reduces the amount of soot buildup in the flue. When a professional visits your home for an inspection, they’ll check the chimney and flue to see if there are any cracks or leaks, as well as check that the damper and chimney cap is working correctly.

Gas Fireplace

Clean the Glass Panel

If you have a direct vent fireplace with a glass panel, the glass should be regularly cleaned. Remove the glass, then use the manufacturer’s suggested cleaner. For gas fireplace owners with glass doors, the same is recommended; use a soft cloth and the cleaner suggested by the manufacturer. Do not use any cleaning products that contain ammonia!

Brush off Soot 

Brushing off soot with a clean and dry paintbrush is an easy way to get rid of any remaining. Get as much as you can out!

Schedule a Gas Fireplace Inspection

One of our professionals will take a look at the burner and other components of the unit. Regular maintenance can increase the lifespan of your gas fireplace and reduce the amount of money spent on repairs.

Turn off Pilot Light

For gas fireplaces that have a standing pilot, you can turn it off for the Spring and Summer. Turning it off can save you money in utilities. If you don’t feel comfortable or know how to turn off your pilot light, have a professional do it for you.

Contact Us

Contact New England Hearth & Home about questions involving your fireplace. Give us a call or fill out our contact form!

What to Do When You Haven’t Used Your Fireplace in a While

brick chimney

If you just moved into a new house or decide to try the fireplace that hasn’t been touched in years, it’s a good idea to have it inspected and cleaned. You may wonder, why? It’s because fireplaces and chimneys serve as a ventilation system for your home. Even furnaces rely on chimneys to circulate fresh air. It takes carbon monoxide and brings it through the chimney to outside. If you don’t get your chimney inspected every year to check for issues, your home’s ventilation may not be up to code.

Checking For Animals

Smaller outdoor animals like squirrels, birds, and raccoons love using chimneys as a form of shelter. They end up building nests in chimneys made out of leaves, dirt, twigs, and branches – which are all flammable materials. They also may leave behind droppings which can cause bad odor in your chimney and fireplace. Before starting up a fire, make sure your chimney is clear of animals and their homes.

Musty Smells

Musty smells coming from your fireplace can mean there is a moisture issue within your chimney. If you think something may have passed away in your chimney, you’re probably right. That happens often, especially when animals have made homes up there. Make sure to not start a fire in your fireplace until the animal has been removed. Burning it will not make the smell go away.

Fireplace That Has Never Been Used

Even if you have a fireplace that you know has never been used, the right way to go about starting your first fireplace fire is to have it inspected prior. Homeowners there before you, environmental wear and tear, and outdoor creatures are still factors that could have changed the way your fireplace will function. The freezing winter temperatures can also take a toll on your chimney and how it holds up.

What Happens During A Fireplace Inspection

A simple and common chimney inspection includes a chimney sweep looking for damage, obstructions, soot, and creosote buildup, using a flashlight. If it is in need of being swept, they’ll use brushes, a vacuum, and extension poles to do so. If you just bought the house, or experienced harsh weather conditions, the inspection will continue on the roof, in the attic, and crawl spaces. They can use video scanning and other tools to determine the damage of the chimney.

Contact Us

New England Hearth & Home wants to make sure you use your fireplace safely. Give us a call at 781-562-0071 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to taking care of your fireplace needs!