When the summer weather turns to fall, one thing to look forward to is lighting a crackling fire in your fireplace. Over the course of a cool North Carolina winter, you’ll find yourself burning fires quite frequently. There’s just not much cozier than relaxing in front of that beautiful, warm fire, especially on the day when you celebrate your loved ones – Valentine’s Day! You want everything to go exactly right on that special day – whether you’ll be celebrating with your family or it’s just you and your sweetie.

Why Is Regular Inspection so Important?

There are many reasons to have your chimney inspected, and the more often you use your chimney, the more often your chimney should be inspected. When you burn a fire in your fireplace, many substances are released, such as tar fog, unburned wood particles, water vapor, and other minerals. This mixture heads up your chimney, and when it hits the cooler surface of your chimney, it condenses and forms creosote. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, this buildup can be crusty or flaky, black or brown, tar-like, sticky – it really doesn’t matter what it looks like, the fact remains – it is extremely flammable and dangerous if left to build up on the inside of your chimney. If the buildup gets too thick and the flue temperature gets too high, you just might experience a chimney fire.

There are some things you can do to lower your chances of a chimney fire. The most important, of course, is regular inspection, cleaning, and repair. Using unseasoned wood is another. Mother Earth News states that it’s important that the wood you are burning has a moisture content of less than 20%. This will help ensure that your fire is less smoky, and it will also help to reduce the amount of creosote that builds up on the inside of your chimney. You can buy your wood already seasoned, but if you can’t find seasoned wood, it’s not difficult to season it yourself, if you have the space to store it for at least 6 months before burning it. Wood will season better if there is more surface area, so split your wood before storing it and cut it down to a size to fit your fireplace. Make sure you stack it loosely so that there is plenty of air flow through the wood to dry it out. In fact, if possible, a single row on a pallet in the sun with a good wind blowing through is the best way to season your wood.

Don’t restrict the air supply that gets to your fire, as this will increase the amount of creosote your fire creates. Make sure that you keep the fireplace doors open, and make sure that you open the dampers wide enough when you have a fire burning.

Call Chimney Sweep Plus

Nothing would spoil Valentine’s Day faster than a chimney fire. That’s why it’s so important that you schedule regular chimney inspection and cleaning. The place to call for expert advice, inspection, cleaning, and repair is Chimney Sweep Plus. Trust your chimney to the best in the business – Chimney Sweep Plus!