We’ve mentioned before on this blog that summer can lead to long periods of disuse for your fireplace. As it isn’t needed to heat your home anymore, it can easily go months without once being turned on. We’ve suggested that summer is the ideal time to buy a new fireplace, for a variety of reasons, but say you are happy with your current model. Is there anything else you can do for it over the summer months?
There is. While you are not using your fireplace, there are many things you can do to it in this quiet time that will make the world of difference when the weather turns yet again. So take advantage of this time period, and try doing some of the following activities.
A nice simply one to begin with – unplug your electric fireplace. There is no point leaving it on standby, as that is just wasteful. It also looks less unsightly if you can remove the wire that usually lies along the floor between the plug socket and the fireplace.
This won’t apply to a gas fireplace, but there is a similar consideration when it comes to wood burning fires. If you have excess logs left over from the winter, you’ll want to find a place to store them. Depending on how many you have, it’ll either be a case of throwing them in a cupboard or storing them amongst the foliage in your garden.
Most of the time a little bit of polish will suffice. Make sure you clean the facia to the point that no dust remains. Some dismantling may be required for electric models, so make sure you keep the instruction manual nearby so you can reassemble it later. If polish doesn’t do it, consider using a vacuum cleaner or a brush to get into all the hard to reach places.
With gas fireplaces, ensure that the gas it turned off before you even think about taking it apart. Leaking gas brings with it a multitude of problems, so ensure no gas is flowing, and purchase a carbon monoxide detector to make sure none is leaking afterwards. Cleaning a gas fireplace inside and out is important, as the burning process creates a fine residue, which can be corrosive.
Check the chimney
While you’re at it, be sure to check the chimney. We recommend getting a professional to do this, so you don’t run the risk of damaging yourself or the fireplace. You will want to check for any damage, any blockages, and just a general health check up. Things will get messy back here if you sue your fireplace with any regularity, so clean it out as best you can to make sure you don’t suffer from a backlog of stuff that would result in a few years of neglect.
Also, while it is out of season, hire a chimney sweep if it is necessary. These professionals are the best way to ensure your chimney works as efficiently as possible, although we’re sorry to tell you they no longer look like the ones in Mary Poppins!
Now the bulk of the work is done, you can relax. You are all set for winter, but there is something you have to do to fight against a buildup of dust. Once a month, turn the unit on. You don’t need to do this for very long, as a couple of minutes will suffice. But this will blow out all of the dust that could accumulate from disuse.
Do all of this, and you’ll enjoy a problem-free winter of heating!