Should I “Close” My Fireplace In the Summer?
Closing your fireplace during summertime helps cut utility costs, and that’s just one of several benefits. Doing the job right will contribute to home safety, prevent unpleasant odors from invading your home, and help to ensure that your fireplace will be ready when the first cold snap rolls around. Tips for closing your fireplace follow.
Schedule Chimney Sweeping Services
If your fireplace is fueled by wood, creosote has been deposited in your chimney lining, and chimney cleaning is needed. A highly flammable substance, creosote builds up layer upon layer. It is a leading cause of home fires that start as chimney fires. A dirty chimney is a threat to safety.
Another problem with creosote is that it can cause two problems when moisture is also inside the flue. First, in the heat of summer, the mix of moisture and creosote usually results in stinky odors. Secondly, creosote is a toxic, acidic combustion material that often wears away at chimney flues when mixed with humidity or rain.
If you contact your trusted chimney sweep company for chimney cleaning, you could be eliminating a dangerous chimney obstruction. Blockage causes toxic fumes from fires to enter the home and potentially threaten the life and health of its occupants.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are leading fire safety organizations, and their experts agree that everyone with a chimney should get an annual chimney inspection. It’s often best to have your chimney cleaned first and then inspected so that a special video camera that chimney professionals use can determine whether the flue lining is intact from top to bottom.
If there is a breach in a chimney flue, no matter how tiny, there are potential hazards threatening the home, including the following:
Combustible materials will be exposed to extreme heat and will begin a process called “pyrolysis.” This ultimately means that materials could suddenly ignite into a hazardous house fire at a much lower temperature than normal.
Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Toxic gases, including carbon monoxide, will enter the living areas of the home through a damaged flue liner. Carbon monoxide is deadly and is widely referred to as the “Silent Killer.” The fumes are tasteless, odorless, invisible, and cause undetectable symptoms. Sometimes too late to escape to safety.
Schedule Repairs for Summer
After having a chimney inspection, you may learn that chimney masonry repairs are needed. Summer is the best time to fix a deteriorating chimney because results are more durable than if the work is done in cold weather. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to close your fireplace for summer when it is clearly not going to be ready when winter arrives.
Clean and Close the Fireplace
Once chimney experts like the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Saver Solutions have performed chimney cleaning, inspection, and repair, you are all set to do your part in closing your fireplace for summer. Although chimney experts often vacuum fireplaces after cleaning out creosote, you may need to vacuum and scrub your fireplace. Then you may get additional enjoyment by decorating the hearth for summer.
Finally, be sure that your damper is closed and has a good seal. Metal dampers commonly fail to seal properly, which is a problem because it’s like having an open window that drives up electricity costs. A top-closing damper is something to consider. They are easily operated through the hearth with a cable, and they completely seal off chimneys at the top when closed.