Staying warm during the winter could mean piling on blankets, slipping on socks or huddling on the couch in front of a space heater, but for many people, it means lighting up the fireplace. Before you get cozy, refresh your fireplace safety knowledge with these simple tips.

Is Your Chimney Clean?

Before you worry about what type of logs to burn, you need to ensure that you have a clean chimney. Your chimney should be professionally swept at least once a year. Creosote, soot and debris will all be removed from the inside and the structure will be inspected for safety. If there are any problems with your chimney, it’s much better to find them out before something dangerous occurs.

How Low Should Temperatures Be Outside Before You Fire Up Your Fireplace?

Drafting can occur whenever the temperature outside is too warm and there was not adequate time to warm up the flue. When the air outside is warm, the hot air in your chimney will not be drawn outside in the same manner it does when it’s cold. In general, you should wait until temperatures are hovering around freezing for best results.

How Do You Warm the Flue?

Heating up the flue before you start your fire is a responsible practice that ensures a good fire. Since your chimney flue is filled with cold air, the initial smoke from your fire won’t be enough to push out the cold air. This can cause a backdraft. Warm up your flue by first building your fire stack inside of your fireplace and grabbing a few rolled pieces of newspaper. Light the pieces of newspaper and hold them in the flue. This heat will help to get rid of cold air in the chimney and ensure a good fire.

What Woods Should You Burn?

Burn seasoned hardwoods like oak. Your logs should be split and stored away in a dry, off-the-ground place for over six months before you start burning them. If you choose pine or green wood, your wood will produce more creosote and necessitate cleaning your chimney much more frequently.

Get a Clean Sweep from Clean Sweep Maryland

Do you need a chimney inspection before you use your fireplace this winter? Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional service.