Some people simply don’t see a need to clean the fireplace very often. A screen in front of the fireplace or a set of doors may keep most of the surfaces hidden from view. And besides, most people expect a fireplace to be dirty. Your guests likely aren’t going to judge ash and soot at the bottom of the fireplace; it just means your family makes good use of it!
However, cleaning the fireplace isn’t just about maintaining the way it looks. Appearances are important to some, but proper fireplace cleaning is about your health and safety too. Find out why our chimney technicians think this is such an important task below, and call our team for chimney and fireplace cleaning in Minneapolis, MN.
A More Efficient Fireplace
First, keeping the fireplace clean can help the solid fuel to burn more efficiently. Ash can get in the way of air reaching the firewood on the lifted grate. When you remove the ash, the wood can burn properly, evenly, and as efficiently as possible, which means you reduce the cost of using it.
Eventually, your fireplace can become dirty enough that you actually want to clean it for aesthetic purposes. Don’t wait until the fireplace is caked with dirt and ash before doing so! First, as we’ll address later, this can be a major safety issue. Second, it will be much more difficult to remove, requiring a lot of effort, whereas regular fireplace cleaning is simple!
Dirt Is a Sign of a Safety Issue
Now for our main reason for reminding people to keep their fireplaces and, more importantly, their chimneys clean and clear. Dirt in the fireplace is a sign that the problem continues into the chimney.
Creosote is a dangerous substance that builds up inside of a chimney and fireplace. It is simply a tarlike collection of moisture, ash, and other debris from the burning fuel. What makes it dangerous is the fact that it is highly flammable. Remnants of creosote in the fireplace may mean that the chimney is full of this flammable substance that could potentially ignite and spread outside of the home.
The Dos and Don’ts of Fireplace Cleaning
Now, we want to make sure you understand the do’s and don’ts of cleaning out your fireplace. Let’s start with the don’ts:
- Do not wait until annual maintenance to clean your fireplace.
- Do not use any cleaners that are not specifically designed for fireplaces and stoves.
- Do not pour water into the fireplace. This will turn the ash into a substance like tar that is difficult to clean.
- Do not use a fireplace if there are signs a heavy layer of creosote is covering your chimney lining.
And what you should do:
- Wait twelve hours after a fire has finished burning before sweeping or vacuuming.
- Regularly sweep out ashes from the fireplace for a more efficient, safer fire.
- Sprinkle coffee grounds in the firebox to make it easier to sweep or vacuum without kicking up ash into the air.
- Call chimney sweeps at least once a year to professionally clean and inspect the fireplace and chimney.
Contact 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for chimney cleaning in Minneapolis, MN.