Warm weather is coming and there are some measures you should take to close out your fireplace for the new season. When you properly close out your fireplace and chimney properly it will be ready for fire again as soon as you need it.
Schedule a Chimney Sweep
While you’ve been burning a fire all winter, your chimney has been working constantly to vent smoke and gas from the house. While it vents these harmful byproducts, soot and creosote coats the chimney liner. This debris can build up on the sides of the flue creating an obstruction if left unchecked. Even a small amount of soot and creosote can become stinky when it mingles with the humidity of summer. You can avoid the bother of a dirty chimney through the summer by simply scheduling a chimney sweep with a trusted expert. Northwest Fireplace and Chimney offers chimney sweeping services as part of a full menu of chimney services.
Schedule a CSIA Chimney Inspection
Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend annual chimney inspections for the most safe and efficient chimney. Depending on the use of the chimney system through the year there are three levels of inspections. Northwest Fireplace and Chimney offers CSIA inspections for chimney systems that have undergone no changes (level one), that have had a change to fuel or withstood a natural disaster or fire (level two), and those that have hazards detected (level three).
Tightly Close the Damper
A chimney is a vent that lets air out. You can easily lose conditioned air through the opening if the chimney is left open during the summer. This means wasted resources, raising the cost it takes to cool your house through the warm months. This can be prevented by closing the damper tightly. For added protection, you can opt for a top-sealing damper, often called an energy saving damper. A top-sealing damper has a tight rubber seal, and closes the top of the chimney. This also prevents small animals from nesting inside the chimney through spring.
Disconnect Fuel and Electric Source
If you have a gas fireplace, there are two things you should shut off at the end of the burning season. First, you should shut off the pilot light. Secondly, you should shut off the gas line feeding your appliance. Additonally, if you have a stove or fireplace with an electric blower it can also be turned off. This can help save money on utilities.
Once your chimney is closed off properly for the off-season, you have only to gather your fuel source for the next burning season. Now is the time to begin cutting, gathering, and storing wood so that it’s properly seasoned when you need it next year. For information about selecting and storing firewood click here.