When the sun shines brighter, the temperatures rise, and the allure of summer activities draws us outdoors, the appeal of a cozy fireplace may seem distant. But the summer season is a great opportunity to give your fireplace the love and attention it warrants – and to enjoy it in new ways.
Preparing for the Fall Burning Season
Maintenance might not be a glamorous topic, but a seasoned homeowner will appreciate that feeling of knowing their home heating system is running at the top of its game. You might wonder why maintaining a fireplace during the summer is necessary when it won’t be used. However, summer is an ideal time for essential maintenance tasks.
- Schedule a chimney inspection. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), chimneys should be professionally inspected annually. Chimney sweep technicians know what it takes for a fireplace system to run with optimum safety and efficiency. Plus, they have the experience and expertise to catch issues while they’re still relatively minor – saving system wear and preventing costly issues in the long run.
- Have your chimney swept. All soot, debris, and creosote that may have accumulated over the past burning season should be cleared from the nooks and crannies of your chimney system. This not only helps prevent foul odors and pests, but also drastically reduces potential fire and safety hazards and promotes proper ventilation.
- Clearing ash. Did you know that wood ash has a host of household uses? If you have a wood burning unit, now’s the time to clear out the inch or so of ash that you’ve been maintaining to help aid in combustion during the burning season. In the summer, ash can start to smell and corrode your firebox, so using gloves and a fire shovel, remove those ashes to a fireproof container with a snugly fitting lid. Store them outside the home and use them to deter garden pests, amend soil, or as a cleaning agent component.
- Get repairs on the books. Summer inspections and sweeping are ideal because it creates space to address any repair needs identified before the burning season resumes in earnest. That means that when temps drop, your system is more likely to be at the ready for you to enjoy. Additionally, the conditions of summer are best for certain types of chimney repairs, such as some masonry work.
Highlighting Your Hearth in the Meantime
Your fireplace may not be generating heat, but it can still radiate charm and style. Once your fireplace is clean and clear of ash, it’s a beautiful backdrop for some creative decorating ideas. After all, a fireplace is a focal point whether it’s actively in use or not, so why not stage it to add a breath of fresh, summery air into your home?
- Botanicals. Bringing the vibrancy of outdoors in by decking your fireplace out with fresh flowers or potted plants. Arranging cut flowers on the mantel or positioning some favorites within the hearth adds a pop of color and freshness to your home, and many plants are known to help purify air as well.
- Unconventional “screens.” Consider replacing your functional fireplace screen with something inspired by summer – a floral print, a pop of color, or a water motif. If you aren’t building fires in your fireplace, a decorative piece of artwork that fits your style and color preferences can add seasonal grace to your fireplace area.
- Lighting. Filling your fireplace with an array of candles, lanterns, or fairy lights can create a soft, romantic glow during summer evenings. You have lots of options – steady glow or flickering light, battery operated LEDs or real candle light – that provide a cozy ambiance without generating the heat of a traditional fire.
Upgrading Your Fireplace
Summer’s also a good time for any fireplace updates you’ve been considering, since having work completed during the off season means you’ll be ready to enjoy the results once fall rolls around. There are lots of ways to change up the look or boost the efficiency of your fireplace.
- Fireplace refacing refresh. Fireplace refacing is highly customizable, so there’s no need to settle for something outdated or that simply isn’t your style. Update your fireplace with new tiles, bricks, or stone. A refaced fireplace can completely transform the look of your fireplace, whether you’re after a modern motif or classic elegance.
- High-efficiency inserts. If you have a traditional open fireplace, an insert will give you greater efficiency, granting you greater control over your heat and reducing energy costs when it’s cold outside. Inserts can also easily convert the type of fuel you use, so whether you crave the crackle of burning wood logs or the convenience of gas, there’s a fit for you.
- Mantel makeover. Fireplace mantles draw attention. If you refinish or replace your existing mantel, you may be surprised at how much character the new design adds to your space.
- Built-in storage. If your fireplace area allows, consider adding built-in shelving or cabinets to create functional storage space for books, decor, or firewood. While you’re making any of the above upgrades is a good time to think about how storage could fit into your design.
Using Your Fireplace
Keep in mind that your fireplace can still be used during the summer months! If a fire on a cooler summer night sounds appealing, go for it. Just remember that your system should be swept and inspected ahead of time to keep it ready for ongoing use.
We Can Keep Your Fireplace Working for You
A fireplace isn’t only a winter luxury, but a year-round asset to your home. Utilizing the summer months to maintain, decorate, and upgrade your fireplace will help preserve the longevity and beauty of the heart of your home and ensure that you can enjoy it for a lifetime, in season and out.
With our commitment to education, safety, and superior craftsmanship, we’ll be happy to put our skills to work for you to make your fireplace a haven of comfort, efficiency, and style. Call us at 970-234-3330 or book online with us today.