1. Clean the ashes from the fireplace as they accumulate.
    1. This only applies to wood burning fireplaces, but it is an important step! We recommend leaving a bed of ash throughout the burning season as this will help ignite new fires. Clean only excess ash and place them in metal sealed container on a flat surface away from home.
  2. Examine your chimney system.
    1. Look at the interior components of your system. This includes the firebox, grate, and make sure it is free of any missing mortar joints, or anything out of the ordinary. Examine the outside of your chimney, this includes crumbling brick work, vegetation, gaps, missing bricks.
  3. Make sure the damper is fully open before lighting a fire in the fireplace.
    1. Lighting a fire with a closed damper presents some issues. This includes smoke coming into the home and a hard time getting a fire started.
  4. Burn only properly seasoned wood.
    1. Gather firewood 6 months to a year in advance to properly season it. This results in less combustible material collecting in the chimney. Never burn pressure-treated or painted wood, trash, or other debris. Burn fires that consume the fuel. Burning wet wood results in improper burning, waste of money and more creosote buildup on the flue.
  5. Use the top-down burn method.
    1. This method burns hotter, cleaner and produces less smoke than traditional fire-building methods. Place the largest logs on the bottom of the fireplace, then add a cross layer of smaller logs. Next, add some crushed newspaper and top it all with an inch of kindling. Light the newspaper, sit back and enjoy the fire. Small hot fires, don’t load up the firebox.
  6. Have your chimney inspected by a CSIA certified professional every year.
    1. Having your system inspected annually by a certified professional is the best thing you can do to keep your chimney and fireplace healthy. Use the recommendations above to run your system efficiently but always have an expert look over your system once every year.

Clean Sweep Of Anne Arundel County offers a variety of chimney and fireplace services for your convenience.

If you need a CSIA certified chimney service provider to sweep and inspect your chimney for your annual maintenance, give us a call today!