There’s no denying that one of the best things about winter is getting the opportunity to cozy up next to a roaring fire. The warmth on your skin as you watch the snow falling outside is a scene straight out of a magazine.
But along with using your fireplace comes the risk of chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and other potential hazards if you neglect proper maintenance or don’t implement safe practices when using your fireplace.
Here at The Chimney Doctor, we want to help ensure that your winter experience remains magical by working to eliminate the risks associated with fireplace usage. From comprehensive chimney services to offering tips on responsible fire practices, we are committed to making your cozy fireside moments worry-free.
1. Schedule an Inspection & Chimney Sweep
Did you know yearly chimney sweeps and inspections are the number one recommended service for maintaining a safe and efficient fireplace? Don’t just take our word for it – the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the leading authority on chimney and venting system safety, strongly advocates for these services too. The CSIA is responsible for certifying our chimney technicians, so it’s not just a recommendation… It’s the industry standard.
During a chimney and fireplace inspection, our technicians will meticulously examine various components, including the flue liner, damper, firebox, chimney cap, and overall chimney structure. We want to know if your chimney and fireplace are drafting properly and achieving efficient combustion, and we will have the chance to identify any signs of creosote buildup or other potential issues.
A chimney sweep, on the other hand, allows us the opportunity to reach even the most hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in order to remove any and all creosote buildup, debris, and other obstructions – all in order to achieve optimal airflow and combustion efficiency.
These two services combined are an effective approach to maintaining the safety and efficiency of your fireplace. To schedule those services today, call The Chimney Doctor at 970-234-3330 or request an appointment online.
2. Avoid Freeze/Thaw Cycle Damage – Get Your Chimney Waterproofed
In winter, when the temperature fluctuates, we get concerned about the potential for freeze/thaw cycle damage to our chimneys. Brick is porous and naturally absorbs small amounts of water. The repeated expansion and contraction caused by freezing and thawing of that moisture in the brick can lead to cracks, deterioration, and other structural issues in the masonry.
By applying a high quality waterproofing sealant, we can create a protective barrier against the effects of relentless freeze/thaw cycles. In Colorado, where we experience frequent freezing and melting of snow and ice, we highly recommend this service.
3. Upgrade to Glass Fireplace Doors to Improve Efficiency
When it comes to protecting your home from loose embers and sparks, at the bare minimum, we recommend your fireplace have a spark guard or screen. But if you want to reduce your risk of accidental fires and see a big boost in your fireplace’s efficiency, consider upgrading to glass fireplace doors.
Beyond safety benefits, these doors help minimize heat loss by preventing warm indoor air from escaping up the chimney, all while reducing the downdraft of air into your home. The result isn’t only increased energy efficiency, but also a more consistent and comfortable indoor temperature – and may we add that they look beautiful! Glass fireplace doors add a modern and elegant look to your living space.
4. Stock Up on the Right Firewood
Choosing the right firewood can definitely affect how efficient your fireplace is and how enjoyable your fireplace experience will be. Burning wood that is green or unseasoned can produce more creosote, more smoke, and actually burn less efficiently.
So opt for well-seasoned hardwoods – meaning wood that has had at least 6 months to dry and consider woods like oak, maple, or hickory. We also recommend you store your firewood in a place that allows it to be elevated off the ground and covered (but leave the sides exposed), and keep it well away from the house to prevent pests and moisture.
5. Consider a Fireplace Insert
If you’re not happy with how your fireplace is performing, whether that’s because it’s not heating your space effectively or you’re concerned about heat loss, a fireplace insert may be the solution. Fireplace inserts are specially designed units that fit directly into your existing fireplace. They come in various styles that will match your specific needs, and are often more effective at distributing heat throughout the room.
If you’d like to discuss your alternative options, give The Chimney Doctors a call today.
The Chimney Doctors Are Here to Help
With our team of certified technicians and our long list comprehensive services, there isn’t much we can’t assist you with. We are dedicated to providing top-notch chimney inspections, sweeps, and maintenance. Whether you need expert advice, preventive measures taken care of by licensed professionals, or solutions you can trust to address specific issues, call on The Chimney Doctor team. We are happy to help!