As the weather gets warmer, the days get longer, and the evenings take on that soft and inviting glow that just begs you outside, outdoor fire pits become a favorite spot for countless homeowners in the Grand Junction area. Perhaps there is nothing more enjoyable than an evening with friends on the patio enjoying a flickering fire while watching the twilight sky change color before your eyes.
Owning a fire pit means:
- owning a great space for gathering family and friends
- taking full advantage of your time outdoors
- gaining a calm and relaxing ambiance
- having a place to roast a hotdog or make a s’more
- getting light and heat well into the dark, cool evening
Yes – the value of having a working and well-maintained fire pit is, in fact, immeasurable which is why we at The Chimney Doctor wanted to make sure that you know some important tips to keep your fire pit in top shape.
Maintaining a Wood Fire Pit
Fire pit maintenance means more than just the ability to fix something that’s broken. There are plenty of things you can do while using your fire pit that will extend its life and keep it bringing you the joys that it should.
Use Proper Firewood
Properly seasoned firewood will make your fire a more enjoyable place to hang out. This wood that has been dried outdoors and under shelter for 6-12 months means less smoke and a cleaner burn.
And as far as what type of wood to burn? Oak and maple burn better than softwoods (like pine) because they will not produce the same amount of sparks and smoke that soft, damp wood will. A cleaner burn means a more efficient burn as well. This means that less burned byproducts are produced which keeps your fire pit healthy and improves its lifespan.
Keep the Fire Pit Clean
A day or two after using your fire pit, it is important to remove the ash and left over coals from it, disposing of them carefully. Ash is acidic, which can deteriorate your fire pit – and when it gets wet, it turns into a substance called lye. This slowly eats away at any metal in your pit, ultimately making it unable to do its job. Dispose of ash in a sealed metal container, and wait until it cools completely before properly disposing of it.
Store Firewood Properly
This probably seems like it’s a no-brainer, but thinking about how you store firewood will actually increase the performance and life of your fire pit. Firewood should be stored away from the fire pit and sheltered from rain, however the sides of the stored wood should be exposed to air and sunshine, so that it can dry out. Keeping it away from moisture will help it burn efficiently and will lead to a more enjoyable time around the fire.
Check for Proper Ventilation
When burning, make sure that your fire has adequate airflow. Check all ventilation holes and vents to make sure nothing is obstructing them and getting in the way of air circulation. Fires need oxygen which promotes combustion and a cleaner burn.
Monitor & Extinguish Fires Properly
It might seem a little strange to think that the way you extinguish a fire can extend the life of your fire pit, but making sure that embers are completely done burning can help you dispose of ash faster – and thus keep buildup from being a nuisance. Always make sure there is a fire extinguisher nearby and that flames are completely put out by dousing them with water and stirring the ashes.
Maintaining a Gas Fire Pit
Gas fire pits are a big advantage to fire pit owners. They are clean and don’t run the risk of deterioration from ashes. However, maintenance is still a crucial component to being able to fully enjoy your outdoor fire pit for as long as possible.
Schedule Regular Inspections
As a gas fire pit owner, it is important that you periodically inspect the gas lines and connections for any signs of damage or leaks. Keep an eye out for cracking and fittings that show deterioration or that aren’t tight, and listen for hissing sounds. If you notice any problems, call us at The Chimney Doctor. Our team of techs are not only well-versed in chimneys, but gas stoves and fire pits as well.
Clean the Burner & Ignition Systems
When your burner or ignition system gets dirty, it can become useless. Fortunately, manufactures often include instructions with the fire pit system on how to keep these clean. Make sure you remove any debris, like spider webs or dirt. Of course, The Chimney Doctor is a phone call away and we can quickly help get your burners and ignition up and running in no time.
Protect It From the Elements
It is important that you keep your gas fire pit covered when you aren’t using it, as rain and moisture can be quite damaging over time. To maximize the life of your fire pit, use a weatherproof cover. This will act as a barrier for dirt, debris, and, most importantly, moisture.
Maintain Gas Supply
Regularly checking the levels of your propane tank and replacing your tank when it gets low is an important part of a gas fireplace system. When the system gets low, it can strain and become inefficient. When using a natural gas line, make sure that it stays connected securely, so that it functions the way it should.
Enjoy Your Fire Pit – Work With Us
The Chimney Doctor wants our customers to be able to enjoy their fire pits to the fullest. If you need professional care, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 970-234-3330 today or reach out online, and let us help you extend the life of your fire pit, so you can enjoy it to its fullest.