How to Maintain Your Wood Burning Fireplace

28th February 2019


Fireside wood fireplace in Castle Hill

Consider how many movies, advertisements and promotions feature wood burning fireplaces? They work for a very good reason; they promote affection; closeness; friendship; romance and family. They warm the home and they warm the heart. Who doesn’t love looking into the flames of a fireplace and feeling as though your cares have dissolved.

The downside of having a wood burning fireplace is that they rarely function as efficiently and safely as they should. If you want to ensure that your wood burning fireplace is keeping your home warm and its occupants safe then you should adopt the following tips:

Regularly clean inside your fireplace: Wood burning builds up deposits of dirt, dust and ash. If that combination of debris is left to just sit and fester then pretty soon its particles will be circulating in the air and you’ll be breathing them in. That’s not good for anybody, least of all people with respiratory, breathing or heart conditions. There is also a substance known as creosote which is used to treat some wooden surfaces. Creosote can be particularly damaging to humans if it’s not cleaned up and removed.

The other problem is the potential for debris to catch fire.

If you notice a build up of smoke: Clean your fireplace immediately. That’s a sure sign that soot, dust or debris has been building and that’s a danger sign.

Install a heat proof glass door: The real risk of an open fire is sparks escaping and igniting some uncleaned debris or logs being dislodged and rolling from the fireplace. If there are flammable objects nearby then the results can be catastrophic. Even if the damage isn’t catastrophic, it could well damage your floorboards, lino or carpet or brush up against some furniture. A heat proof glass door will contain your fire and go very close to eliminating risk.

The other advantage of a heat proof glass door is the containment of heat. Open fireplaces are a big void with an opening above for air to escape freely. Glass doors will still push air into your room but it will also prevent it from escaping through your chimney.

If you want to make sure heat is circulating as efficiently as it can when your heat proof glass door are installed, install a fan near your fireplace to circulate the warm air.

Hardwood is better than softwood. Oak, birch and ash tend to burn longer than softwoods. A tell tale sign is the cost of wood. If it’s cheap there’s a good chance that it’s probably not going to burn for long but that’s not always the best guide. Some cheap woods are treated and may include creosote which is definitely not a great thing. Cheap woods, like many other products, can be a false economy. For your wallet and the sake of the environment, it’s better to choose better quality timbers to burn.

Professional chimney cleaners will check the cap on your fireplace to make sure that there isn’t any  unnecessary build up of debris, dust or dirt. The same applies at the chimneys entry point on your roof. A buildup of internal or external grime can interfere with the flow of your chimney, as can chips or cracks in the masonry. A professional can identify and rectify before they become an issue.

It’s a great idea to get a fireplace inspection carried out by a fireplace professional, at least annually.
Fireside fireplaces in Castle Hill sell the highest quality wood fireplaces in Sydney. If you are looking for an architectural and decorative feature for the centrepiece of any room then visit Fireside fireplaces in Castle Hill. Whether it’s a gas or wood fireplace you need; it could be built in or freestanding, Fireside can show you the most functional, appropriate and attractive fireplace to suit the style, features and heating requirements of your home.