With winter is on the way, now is the time to make sure your home is ready. The fireplace is a great way to heat your home while saving on electricity. While fireplaces are responsible for house fires each year, if you do things right, you significantly reduce the chances of an incident. Below are some tips on how to prepare your fireplace for use ahead of the cold season.

Prepare Your Wood-Burning Fireplace for Use

1. Hire a Chimney Sweep

That amber glow from the fireplace brings your home to life when the temperatures start dipping. To keep your home safe, clean the chimney. Your chimney gathers debris during the spring and summer months, which can clog it. Creosote buildup from last winter might also coat the chimney and pose a fire hazard. Hire a professional chimney sweep with all the right tools for the job.

2. Check for Damage

It is important to inspect every inch of your fireplace for any damage. Start by checking if the damper opens and closes smoothly and the walls for any signs of cracks or damage, which can pose a serious threat. Once again, it is best to work with a professional who can conduct a complete inspection.

3. Install a Chimney Cap

If you don’t have a chimney cap installed already, consider getting one before winter. A metal cap fitted with wire-mesh sides will keep debris from entering. If you already have a chimney cap installed, make sure it’s in good working condition.

4. Get the Wood Ready

No matter how well you prepare your fireplace, you also need the right kind of firewood. Stock up on wood before winter. When picking out wood, avoid softwoods like pine and instead go for seasoned hardwoods like oak. The resinous softwoods produce more creosote, which accumulates in the chimney.

Prepare Your Gas Fireplace for Use

While wood-burning fireplaces are common in older homes, gas-burning fireplaces are usually featured in new construction. If you have a gas-burning fireplace, you also need to get it ready ahead of the cold season.

Have a qualified technician service it regularly- at least every other year. The service mainly entails cleaning the airways and testing the components.

If your gas-burning fireplace has a blower, clean it to get rid of dust. Failure to remove the dust could lead to premature wearing of the bearings and motor failure.

Replace the remote batteries before winter. While you’re at it, test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

It is essential to get your fireplace ready before using it this winter. Make sure the entire family knows about general fire safety guidelines and you’ll stay safe and cozy all season long.

American Dream Home Inspections offers home inspection services in Northern New Jersey. Contact us to request an appointment.