When you think of a chimney and fireplace, what immediately comes to mind? For many of us, it’s the age-old tradition of Santa Claus coming down the chimney to leave gifts under the tree for boys and girls who’ve been good.
It’s no surprise that many of us still hold old-fashioned ideas of how fireplaces and chimneys operate. Unlike Santa, they’ve both come a long way since your childhood. Here are some common misconceptions about fireplaces and chimneys that you need to know are false, so that you can enjoy yours safely for many years to come…
MISCONCEPTION #1 – Fireplaces create creosote and there’s nothing you can do about it.
It’s important to know whether your fireplace operates with a flue system or a chimney without flue. Many people assume that creosote build-up is inevitable when you have a fireplace. It is true that accumulated creosote can lead to inches of layers which in turn can cause reduced performance and potentially create a fire hazard. What many don’t know is that build-up can be reduced and slowed by ensuring that the burnt wood is completely dry and has been seasoned. This means the firewood you should be using is split, seasoned for at least 12 months, and have a moisture content between 12-15%. It can also be drastically reduced by ensuring you only burn hardwoods that are intended to be used in fireplaces. You should never burn treated wood, MDF or particulate board in your fireplace.
MISCONCEPTION #2– Unused chimneys don’t need servicing.
If you base this statement purely on the smoke, gasses and by-products of your fireplace, then it’s partially true. However, there are other things to consider about your chimney such as the structural integrity that is of concern. Even though it might take a while for the bricks and walls of your chimney to deteriorate, it’s still vitally important that you get it regularly serviced to check whether its foundations are still intact.
MISCONCEPTION #3 – It’s easy to clean your fireplace yourself
For some, potentially it is easier for you to clean your own fireplace instead of a professional. However, with the build-up of creosote – which can create a fire hazard and reduce a fireplace’s performance by reducing its airflow – cleaning your fireplace is a task that requires special tools and accessories, as well as skill and experience. This is why it’s important to have work undertaken by a professional. Your local dealer should be able to recommend a chimney sweep in your area to complete any work. If you try to do it yourself, you risk personal injury and doing the job poorly, which could create problems down the line. Plus, choosing to do the job yourself could have consequences on your insurance claim if the worst should happen.
There’s no doubt that there is some maintenance involved in owning a wood-burning fireplace. That said, no one ever said you need to do all the work yourself. Leaving the cleaning, servicing and maintenance up to the experts as Jetmaster Heat & Glo will reduce your stress and increase the efficiency of your fireplace.
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