Do you want to start taking advantage of using natural heat to cut back on energy costs in your house? If you already have a wood burning fireplace that is never put to use, there are important things that you should know before lighting it up. The reason why is because the fireplace and chimney might need some professional attention to decrease the risk of a fire destroying your house. It is also important to know which type of wood will best meet your needs in regards to receiving the fullest extent of heat from the fireplace. After reading through the information in this article, you will know how to properly run and take care of your wood burning fireplace.

Get the Fireplace & Chimney Inspected

An inspection of the fireplace should be done before you begin using it. The main part of a fireplace that must be inspected is the chimney, as it is the most common area where a fire can spark up when least expected. The reason why is because soot and ashes can accumulate and make it easy for embers to start a fire. Chimney inspections should also include searching for the presence of creosote, which is a dark substance that resembles tar. There are several other aspects of the chimney that should be inspected as well, including the bricks, damper, and cap.

Purchase the Right Kind of Wood

Once your fireplace has been inspected, cleaned, and repaired so it can safely be used, you must then decide on the best type of wood for meeting your needs. There are numerous types of woods that you can choose between for igniting a fire, but some of them are more ideal than others. For instance, if there is too much water within the wood, starting a fire can take a while to accomplish. Moist wood can also cause fires to go out faster than you desire them to. The best type of wood to choose is the type that has been seasoned for a while, which basically means it is set aside and dried out before being sold.

Keep Furniture & Other Things at a Distance

When you begin burning wood in your fireplace, you must use a lot of caution. For example, you don't want to place furniture too close to the fireplace, even if it has a screen to enclose burning logs. It is also a good idea to refrain from hanging holiday decorations on the fireplace mantle when a fire is burning, such as Christmas stockings. 

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