Winter is right around the corner, and it’s time to start doing all those things you need to do to get things ready for the cold weather. You’ll want to make sure the furnace is running. If it isn’t, then have a technician take a look at it. Put a winter weather survival kit, including bottled water, a blanket, some flashlights, candles and matches, some snacks, and emergency flashers in your car so that you’re ready if you get caught in a sudden Colorado snowstorm. Check the antifreeze and the battery in your car as well. There are also some things you should do to make sure that your fireplace is ready for the increased winter usage.

Inspection and Sweeping

You know that when the snow starts to fly, there’s nothing cozier than snuggling up in front of a crackling fire. If you haven’t already done so, it’s important that you have your chimney inspected and cleaned before you start using your fireplace for the winter season. When you call the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified professionals at Chimney Doctors of Colorado, you can rest assured that we’ll be giving your chimney more than just a cursory glance. One thing that we’ll be looking for is creosote buildup. This smelly substance builds up over the course of a winter’s use, sticking to the interior of your chimney and causing more trouble than just smelling bad. It is highly flammable, and even as little as an eighth of an inch buildup can catch a spark and cause a chimney fire to occur. We’ll also look for any damage that may have occurred over the course of last winter’s use, cracks to the flue lining, signs of mortar damage, damage to the firebox, or loose flashings. We want you to be safe throughout the winter fireplace months, and the best way to ensure your safety is to do a thorough inspection and cleaning before you start to use your fireplace this fall.

Pick the Right Firewood

Another way to prepare for winter fire burning is to make sure you have the right kind of firewood available. When you are purchasing firewood, there are several things that you can do to make sure the wood you pick is going to burn hot and clean, without being smoky or causing excessive creosote buildup.

Well-cured wood will be lighter, almost gray in appearance, and have cracks running out to the edges. The bark falls off more easily on well cured wood as well. Smell the wood. Well-cured wood will not have as strong or sappy of a smell. Hit two pieces of wood together. If the wood is well cured, it should have a hollow, ringing sound rather than a dull thunk. Picking the correct firewood will make your winter fireplace use a more pleasurable experience. As the temperatures cool down, you’ll be using your fireplace more. Plan ahead to stay safe and warm during the winter season.