For most of us, fireplaces are nothing short of genuine home masterpieces. “Beautiful” is an understatement when it comes to describing them. And people so often forget that while a fireplace’s primary function is to heat a house, they often do so much more.
They can truly add to the ambiance and quality of your home. They offer a certain degree of elegance that no other feature in the home can give. And that’s to say nothing of just how peaceful and relaxing a home can be when it has just the right fireplace.
Imagine laying next to your hearth on a chilly winter night in Bucks County or Montgomery County, enjoying the warmth with your family and friends. Who wouldn’t want to own the perfect gas or wood fireplace?
Wood fireplaces are extremely popular among buyers for plenty of reasons. For starters, they’re usually a bit more aesthetically appealing than their gas counterparts. So much so, in fact, that they often become a home’s main attraction, regardless of the room they’re in.
Wood fireplaces also come in endless styles, from stone to brick to marble. You might say that the options give homeowners a great deal of creative sway. Not to mention that wood burning fireplaces are more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly than a gas hearth.
Gas fireplaces do have more than a few perks of their own, however, starting with the fact that gas fireplaces are much more user-friendly than wood hearths. Wood fireplaces require a fair amount of regular effort and upkeep, whereas many modern gas fireplaces don’t require much more work than the simple flipping on and off of a switch.
Gas fireplaces are also significantly easier to clean. With a gas fireplace, for instance, you won’t have to worry about ash and soot. For people who want the warm-and-cozy fireplace effect, but not necessary the fireplace upkeep and hassle, a gas version is almost always the way to go.
Maintenance and Upkeep
While it’s true that a home’s hearth is a wonderful thing, it’s also true that cleaning and regularly maintaining a fireplace can require some elbow grease. So just how often should you clean your fireplace? And what’s the best time of year to do so?
What’s the best season for fireplace cleaning?
You might assume that autumn would be the best time of year to have your fireplace cleaned—right before the crisp weather turns cold, in other words. And yet that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, waiting until after the spring and summer months have passed to clean your fireplace is a bad idea. Leaving soot and creosote buildup in your fireplace can cause an odor, and that buildup will also be much harder to clean after it’s been left sitting for months at a time. That’s why the early spring season, right after the busiest burning months, is the best time of year to clean your fireplace. (March and April are both good choices.)
How often should you clean your fireplace?
There are many factors that contribute to just how dirty your fireplace will get, and just how fast it’ll get dirty. The best way to keep your fireplace clean is to actually clean it after each usage. And while that is a recommended practice, it isn’t necessarily mandatory for the fireplace itself or the chimney. In fact, the average time between fireplace cleans is about one month. Cleaning the wood burning area of your fireplace will help maximize the quality of each burn. Sweeping or vacuuming it out regularly is also recommended.
How often should you clean your chimney?
The recommended average time between chimney cleans is one year. Regular chimney cleaning is important, because it clears out any built-up soot, blockages or creosote from your chimney liner. Anytime you light your fireplace, you want to be completely confident that you’re undertaking as safe a procedure as possible.
Dirty chimneys are more prone to chimney fires from the left over creosote. Creosote accumulates in your chimney from burning wood and is highly flammable. Its buildup can also prevent your chimney from being as efficient as possible. Creosote usually forms when wood isn’t being burned fully. The amount of time it takes to build up can vary. Hardwoods such as oak wood, maple and birch burn hotter and longer, and produce less creosote.
Is it possible to clean your own fireplace?
Although it is recommended that homeowners have their fireplace and chimney inspected yearly by a professional chimney sweep, it’s also a good idea to invest in some cleaning tools of your own. Be sure to own rods, shovels and brushes for your fireplace. And while this should probably go without saying, it is never recommended to clean out your fireplace with your bare hands. Fireplace ashes and coals can be hot—and even still flammable—for up to a week after being burned.
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Although fireplace maintenance can sometimes add up to a fair bit of work, there’s little doubt that the experience is worth it. A fireplace adds to your property value and your home’s ambiance. In fact, a fireplace might just be the missing puzzle piece of the puzzle that can turn your house into the home you’ve always dreamed of.
Estates Chimney offers a very wide variety of gas fireplaces, wood fireplaces, wood burning stoves, and more. We also offer a number of chimney services. To learn more, visit our website or contact us today.
You can also pay us a visit in-person; our brick-and-mortar stores are conveniently located in Chalfont PA (48 Sunset Avenue) and Holland PA (117 Buck Road). We’ll look forward to meeting you!