Expert Advice on Improving Your Home
Home Fireplace


There’s nothing quite as cozy as a crackling fireplace. It provides warmth and can help you save money on your energy bills. But without proper care and maintenance, a fireplace can cost you money, letting in drafts, rain, and even pests.

The Basics of Fireplaces

To help you enjoy your fireplace without any of the downsides, we’ve compiled this quick list of helpful maintenance tips, along with some extra reading material. 

  • Frequently remove soot and creosote: Creosote is a chemical byproduct produced when the wood is burned but lacks sufficient airflow. As the oils and tars within the wood are burned, they’re incorporated into smoke, after which they can sit and cool on the chimney’s flue. As the creosote builds up in the chimney, it further reduces airflow, producing more soot and creosote. Both of these substances are highly flammable and can lead to house fires. 
  • Inspect your chimney annually: You should inspect your chimney, its cap, vents, and fireplace at least once per year. Any of these parts can become clogged, damaged, and broken over the course of the year. Keeping all parts of the chimney repaired and clear of debris is essential to ensure it has adequate airflow.
  • Buy the right firewood: Using the wrong firewood can result in large amounts of smoke and additional soot and creosote buildup. To get the most out of your fireplace, avoid burning softwoods and use hardwoods like birch, maple, and oak. 
  • Instal smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors: While chimneys can help vent smoke and carbon monoxide, they can also lead to increased buildup if not functioning properly. It’s always best to install a smoke and carbon monoxide detector around your fireplace in case it becomes clogged. 

While chimneys are great to have in the wintertime, they require a certain amount of upkeep if you want to use them. If you’re interested in learning more about fireplace maintenance, check out some of our other articles. 

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