It goes without saying how wonderful a fireplace can be in your home. Not only can it bring a cozy, modern aesthetic to your living space, it also can make for a peaceful bonding experience with loved ones as you cuddle up in cold Washington winter months.
With how much a well-constructed fireplace can bring to your home, it’s important to keep in mind that you will need to give it some tender love and care to ensure that you get the maximum value–and can use your fireplace safely. Regular fireplace cleaning can be one of those often overlooked, yet essential, home maintenance tasks.
Should You Get Your Fireplace Cleaned?
The short answer is yes, and this holds true regardless of what type of fireplace you own, be it wood, gas, or electric. In general, fireplace cleaning removes the buildup of hazardous materials that can accrue after using your fireplace.
However, the type of buildup that is generated differs depending on which kind of fireplace you use. For example, one of the main concerns with electric fireplaces is dust buildup, which can block airflow around inlets. This in turn can cause the fireplace heater to overheat and shut off.
Cleaning your fireplace is a matter of safety as well. For instance, a wood fireplace can have issues with creosote, or tar vapors that can condense on chimney walls. If not taken care of, this buildup could result in a chimney fire, which in turn can cause property damage.
How Often Should You Clean Your Fireplace?
Unfortunately, there is no set standard on how often your fireplace needs to be cleaned. However, the National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys and fireplaces should be inspected at least once a year. A good rule of thumb is that you should clean your fireplace, no matter which kind you have, at the start of each heating season.
You may need to clean your fireplace more depending on how often you use it.
How to Clean Your Gas or Traditional Fireplace
How you go about fireplace cleaning will vary depending on what kind of fireplace you have.
If you own a fireplace with a chimney, while you can clean it yourself, you may want to opt for hiring a professional. This is especially true for gas fireplace cleaning as you may have to disassemble the fireplace to get at all of the places you need to. A professional can also help inform you if there are any safety hazards that need fixing, which can save you lots of money in the long run.
Alternatively, if you own a wood fireplace, you can opt for a chimney sweep log. Not only are these affordable, but they’re also easy to use. Simply remove them from the package and place them in your lit fireplace and they can both help prevent and remove buildup.
If you do want to DIY, make sure you:
- Brush away any dust or soot and look for any cracks or leaks
- Polish any glass or metal pieces
- Vacuum any dust or cobwebs
- Wipe down mantle or hearth
- Remove ash (for traditional fireplaces)
- Inspect and clean exterior vents
How to Clean Electric Fireplaces
Electric fireplace cleaning can be much easier as there are no ventilation or gas lines to worry about. Before you start cleaning, ensure that the fireplace is disconnected and that you check all electrical components for wear and fraying. If there is damage, call a professional technician.
To clean your electric fireplace:
- Clean the heater with a clean, dry cloth and the soft brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner
- Clean both sides of the front glass panels
- Dust the interior of your fireplace
Get Your Fireplace Cleaned
If you want your fireplace cleaned and thoroughly inspected, it’s best to call a professional. At Aqua Rec’s, we have experience with just about every kind of fireplace and can help make sure yours is ready for the cold winter months. We can even clean your stove, too.
Contact us today for stove and fireplace cleaning and to learn more about our services.