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Taking Care of a Fireplace

Nov 14, 2007
Lots of people have fireplaces in their homes, but keeping them clean and smoke free takes some maintenance and effort on the part of the homeowner. The fireplace will not maintain itself, even though there are some fireplace cleaning logs on the market these days. These will not completely replace a professional cleaning, though, so you should have one of these done at least every year or two.

You should also have the proper tools stored next to your fireplace and these are available in many different materials and types. Cast iron is a good and durable material, but fireplace tools are also available in brass, pewter, nickel, and etcetera. There is a large selection on the market and you will surely be able to find what you are looking for.

A fireplace blower can help build up the fire and add more heat to it. You have probably seen one of these before and it can be a real help when first starting to build a fire.

Fireplace tongs can be used to move around logs that are obviously too hot to pick up with your hands and this is necessary, since the logs will not always be exactly where you need them to be to get the most heat and longevity out of the fire.

A fireplace poker can be used to stir around coals and spread them so that the heat is more evenly distributed. This helps larger logs catch on fire faster than they normally would.

A shovel is used to clean out the ashes that are left after a fire is out and a small broom is necessary to keep the area immediately outside the fireplace cleaned up.

If you are having problems building a fire that does not spill smoke back into the room, you need to make sure that nothing is blocking the chimney on top of the house. Leaves, bird nests, and sticks can clog it up during the spring, summer, and fall and make it completely unusable.

Using the correct wood is also important; logs that are freshly cut and have a lot of moisture still in them will smoke instead of catch fire. Use logs that are dried out and try to store them in a place where they will not get wet.

Start the fire slowly by building it up with paper and small sticks at first to get the chimney warm. Warming up the chimney is important so that the air inside it becomes warm instead of cold. Cold air pushes the warm air and smoke down and back into the house.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of
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