BARRIE, Ont. (December 13, 2018) —The holidays are just around the corner, and with that comes a variety of festive customs and traditions that bring us together.
Whether hanging seasonal stockings or decorating the tree, people uphold holiday traditions because they encourage families and friends to gather and share memories with the people they love most. One classic fixture that lies at the heart of many of these memories is the humble fireplace.
"Besides being the main entryway for Santa Claus, fireplaces establish a sense of warmth and comfort within the home that creates connection," says Stephen Schroeter, co-Chief Executive Officer of the Napoleon group of companies. "The fireplace often acts as a focal point during the holidays, where guests are welcome to keep warm, roast chestnuts, sip hot cocoa and converse with kindred spirits."
Before decking your mantle with tinsel trinkets and burning up the annual Yule log, it is important to ensure your fireplace is safe and in working condition. Unsure where to start? Here are the first steps to prepare your fireplace for the winter months ahead.
Check the Chimney
One notable place to start when servicing your fireplace is the chimney. Check the structure and lining of your chimney for cracks, loose bricks, and deterioration. If there is a build-up of soot and creosote, contact a professional chimney sweep to remove dangerous debris. Chimneys should be swept and inspected once a year to ensure bird nests, rodents, and burnt residue do not block airflow.
Clean the Blower
A fireplace blower is a small fan that works to circulate warm air throughout the room and increases the efficiency of wood and gas units. If your fireplace has a blower, make sure it is properly cleaned and maintained.
Inspect Gasket and Fireplace Door
Check the seal and gasket latch on your fireplace door, and replace if necessary. Should there be an issue closing the door on your unit, there is risk that your fire could receive too much oxygen and cause complications.
Contact a Professional
Should you notice drafts or abnormal odors coming from your fireplace, contact a professional for a full inspection. Consultations are also advised if there are issues with the damper that impact airflow, complications with the chimney cap, or if there is evidence of water damage