Preparing Your Fireplace for the Off Season

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Spring is coming soon and bringing warmer weather along with it. While it will be a good while yet before any one of us dare say we are hot, warm enough days are in the near future that the time of year for heating our homes is drawing to a close. Because of this, it is time to start thinking about the heating components soon to be dormant for the next few months, giving them the care they need to have them ready to go again when the cold weather returns.

Since fireplaces are a common means of heating in many homes, they are high on the list of things that will need our attention come spring. To start preparing your fireplace to take the summer off, the first thing you should do is clean out any ashes. This will go a long way towards keeping up the appearance of your fireplace as well as keeping dust down as spring weather encourages the opening of windows to let breezes from outside into your home, stirring up things such as ash and redistributing them throughout your home.

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You will also need to close your damper (the metal flap that seals off access to the opening of the chimney flue) for the warm seasons to prevent things such as rainwater and drafts for making their way into your home. Even animals who might wish to move in with you via your chimney will be unable to do so once the damper is closed. To locate your damper, first ensure that your fireplace is cool. The damper is usually towards the front of your fireplace and will have components such as a lever, metal loop, or chain depending on the type. With gloved hands, maneuver the mechanism to close the damper and prevent the outside world from entering your home through your fireplace. Different types of dampers will require different methods of manipulation, so have a flashlight handy to get a closer look at the task at hand before attempting movement if you are uncertain as to how your damper operates.

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With your fireplace empty of ash and closed up tight for the season, there is still some cleaning you may wish to do. Since soot can accumulate on the hearth and fireplace surround, cleaning that off might be something you wish to add to your to do list. For more details, check out this article on easy yet effective ways to clean the area around your fireplace to remove any dark residue. With warmer days ahead, may you not only enjoy getting outside and enjoying the changing seasons, but may your clean fireplace have a peaceful few months off duty!

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