Homesteaders understand the importance of a fireplace during the cold winter months. Cleaning and maintaining your fireplace during the off-season is essential to keep it in good working order. The following suggestions can help you get the best use out of the any type of fireplace you may have on your homestead.
Keep the Chimney Clean
When it comes to wood-burning fireplaces, the most important factor is keeping them clean. The natural by-products of burning wood are soot and creosote. These substances can saturate the brick or stone structure and build up within the chimney. Creosote is that shiny, black residue, and it’s highly combustible. Failure to keep it cleared out can actually cause a chimney fire, which is extremely dangerous. Cleaning your fireplace and chimney at the end of the cold weather is the best way to have it ready for use next year. Be sure to use the proper equipment to do the job. You’ll need chimney brushes with extension rods, a safety ladder, plastic sheeting and tape to protect the inside of your home and safety gear for yourself.
Look Into Inserts
Inserts can be a good option if you want to convert your fireplace from burning wood to improve its efficiency. There are different styles of fireplace inserts depending on what you want to use to fuel them. Most inserts are relatively easy to install. These inserts come in different sizes to fit small and large fireplaces. There are six basic types of inserts: natural gas, propane, electric, coal, EPA-certified wood, and pellet. The cost for fueling each type can vary greatly depending on where you live, so it’s important to do some research before deciding which insert will best meet the needs of your homestead.
A wood-burning fireplace usually isn’t the most efficient way to heat your home, but many people prefer the ambiance associated with one. One of the best ways to make your fireplace work better is to check the damper. This should be closed when the fireplace isn’t in use. It’s also important to caulk any cracks in the fireplace and caulk around the damper to prevent warm air from escaping and keep cold air out. A heat exchanger can also be a worthwhile investment for use with a wood-burning fireplace.
Cold weather may be a nuisance during the winter months, but luckily fireplaces can help you to be comfortable during this time. A fireplace can create a cozy atmosphere in your home and provide warmth if utilized correctly. Follow these tips to keep your homestead heated throughout the cold weather.