There are not many feelings as rewarding as curling up in front of a fireplace and enjoying some quality time with loved ones.Needless to say, wood burning fireplaces are still a very popular way of heating up a house and adding a certain degree of classy ambiance on a winter night. The only downsides to this scenic situation are the smoky rooms, piles of ashes and the fireplace not lighting up properly.Here are some effective tips on keeping a wood burning fireplace in great condition so that none of these adverse side-effects pop up to destroy a perfect night.

Tips To Keep a Wood Burning Fireplace in Good Condition

Selecting the right type of wood

For burning fireplaces, it is advisable to only use well-seasoned hardwood. Unless it is hardwood that’s being burnt, the fire will be weak and be off in a jiffy. The following types of wood can be used:

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Birch
  • Almond Wood
  • Fruitwood

Hardwoods typically produce hot and clean fires. Types of wood not to use include:

  • Green wood
  • Pine
  • Cedar
  • Spruce

These are all examples of softwood and can cause smoky fires which are not ideal for house fires. They also cause creosote buildup.

Cutting the wood right

After selecting the correct type of wood, it is down to the owner to split the wood in a proper manner so that the logs all fit the fireplace and the burn equivalently. It is advisable for homeowners to master the art of using an axe on logs of wood because it is the key to having asteady supply of firewood throughout winter. Homeowners should visit websites such as Bestsplittingaxe.Net to take the advice of quite a lot of fireplace experts on how to improve one’s axe using technique.

Cleaning is crucial

Having the fireplace examined and cleaned-up by a chimney sweep is a must, at least twice every year before and after winters.Doing so helps in avoiding –

  • Creosote buildup
  • Buildup of soot

Both of these byproducts of fireplaces are extremely harmful to the lungs. In addition to that, the homeowner must also ensure that ashes are not building up in the fireplace. How to deal with ash buildup?

It is advisable to keep an inch of ash as a layer in the fireplace during winters in order to shield the floor of the fireplace and protect the coal pieces.Letting the ashes buildup to the grate causes the grate to wear off rapidly.

Controlling smoke

When lighting up a fireplace, there are two things that must be done for the sake of the health of members enjoying the fireplace –

  • Minimize smoke – Extra amounts of smoke are mostly caused due to an improper flue design or creosote accumulation.
  • Avoid incomplete combustion – This is pretty common when damp woods are used and the ventilation system of the room is not working properly.

Lastly, it crucial that any risk of fire is completely avoided. There must be some form of preparedness (such as a fire extinguisher) in case there is a fire, while enjoying a fireplace.