Bitter cold winds in winter make it essential to sit beside warm glow and crackle of the wood fire in a hearth. If you want to ensure optimum functionality of your fireplace, it is necessary to maintain it regularly. Regular maintenance ensures efficient and safe operations of wood-burning fireplaces. Keep it in mind that improperly operated, maintained and installed wood burning fireplace is dangerous for your house. Ember exploding out of chimney fires or unscreened fires from creosote build-up are extremely dangerous. You can avoid these hazards with proper care and maintenance of your fireplace.
Enhance Safety of Fireplaces
A wood burning fireplace can negatively affect the air quality of your house. You may like the smell of smoke, but it is not good for your health. Always remember that smoke escaping from a firebox in your room indicates that your fireplace is not working correctly. Fire consumes a massive volume of air while burning, so it can increase negative pressure in your home. Now you will need outside air to replace indoor air consumed by fire.
The air comes through water heaters or oil- or gas-burning furnaces can be deadly. This air may contain flue gases, such as carbon monoxide. This procedure is known as backdrafting. For this reason, it is essential to have carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in your house. For your safety, a professional sweep test is necessary to inspect and clean a chimney.
Chimney and Fireplace Elements
Some fireplaces have triple-wall chimneys of stainless steel. A common type of masonry is known as Rumford fireplace. These are better to remove smoke and heat a room. The Rumford fireplaces are old but outperform different modern designs.
A firebox is designed with heat-resistance firebrick. Moreover, the interior of a chimney is lined with square tiles with heat-resistance qualities. The visible sections of fireplace, hearth, and chimney feature special materials, such as tile, stone or brick. A chimney can be capped with a stone or metal stab to prevent snow and rain. A screen is also necessary to keep animals and birds away from the chimney. Fireplace screens act as spark arrester for maximum safety.
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A cast-iron, small door known as the damper mounts over a fire flowing toward the chimney. An attached handle makes it easy to operate this door. You have to keep it close while a fireplace is in an idle state. It can control airflow through a firebox to feed a fire. Make sure to have a mesh guard or screen to protect your room from popping embers. Glass doors can be a great choice to protect your wood burning fireplace from external elements.
Raised Fire Grate
A raised fire gate can elevate the fire for better combustion and circulation. The floor of a firebox must have an ash-dump door made of cast-iron. The ash dump permits cold ash to sweep in a chamber in the foundation of a fireplace. You can access ash by tight-fitting doors of metal. You can remove it without making your living area dirty. Some fireplaces have special metal inserts for clean and efficient burning of wood. The inserts come with fans to circulate air from your living area. It can increase the efficiency of a heater in living spaces. It will make wood-burning fireplaces similar to a wood cooktop.
How does damper work?
Before igniting a fire, a damper allows combustion gases and smoke to escape. The hot combustion gases rise toward a chimney by convection. The fire draws air from a house for combustion. With the stability of flame, the deadly, hot combustion gases may draw up and move away from the chimney. At the same time, fresh air is needed for combustion. Once the ashes are cold after the fire dies, the damper will be closed to avoid unwanted heat loss from your house. You have to clean ashes from a firebox.
Quick Tips to Maintain a Wood-Burning Fireplace
- Install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to avoid an accident.
- Keep furniture, drape, carpets and other combustible materials away from your fireplace while a burning fire. A fireplace door can protect your pets and children from the fire.
- Clean ashes from your fireplace whenever you notice them in the bottom of rate. These can impede airflow so clean them as soon as possible. Keep it in mind that 1-inch of ash is necessary for a fireplace to maintain a good fire. While cleaning, you have to wear gloves and a dust mask for your safety.
- You have to call a professional sweep at least once a year to clean and inspect your wood burning chimney and fireplace. Feel free to test the function of your fireplace by lighting a few chunks of seasoned wood. If smoke enters your room instead of moving vertically, you will need an immediate troubleshoot.
Increase Safety of Fireplaces with Glass Doors
Fireplaces can be more efficient and safe with glass doors. These doors can add the cover of protection while controlling the airflow to fire. To increase the heating efficiency of a wood burning fireplace, you have to install a metal insert. It can convert a traditional fireplace in a cleaner and efficient heat source.