Your fireplace can help to keep your home warm in the winter, which can help you to reduce heating costs and give your house a cozy feeling when the weather outside is frightful. Before you use your fireplace for the first time this season, you should consider having it inspected and prepped for cold weather. A chimney sweep can help you with this task, but you'll want to know the steps you should take to prepare your fireplace and chimney for the change in seasons.
Use A Mesh Cap
The warmth your fireplace gives off can be inviting for animals trying to seek shelter from the cold. Capping your chimney can help to keep these animals out of your home. Your chimney sweep will install a cap with a mesh screen, which will keep animals, as well as debris, out of your chimney and fireplace. This cap can also prevent animals from nesting in the chimney during the summer when your fireplace is not in use. The cap itself will help to keep the chimney airtight, which prevents heat loss in your home through drafts of cold air from the outside.
Install A Spark Guard
Before lighting any fires, have your contractor install a spark guard. This is typically a mesh screen, which can be pulled back like a curtain or opened like a door. The mesh keeps embers from jumping out of the fireplace onto your flooring. Be sure to close the spark guard after lighting your fire to keep the flames securely contained for added safety.
Have The Chimney Swept
Even if you've never used your fireplace before, you should still have your chimney swept before cold weather hits. Soot and debris can accumulate over time, and they can cause blockages that restrict the flow of air when you use the fireplace. Without proper air circulation, smoke can enter your home instead of exiting through the chimney, which can pose a health and safety risk. Consider having the chimney swept at the start and again at the end of the cold weather season to keep it ready for use all year round.
Your contractor should also perform an inspection of the exterior of your chimney to fix any loose bricks and assess any damage that might need to be repaired. Once your chimney and your fireplace are in good working condition, you can look forward to a winter filled with cozy nights curled up in front of your fireplace.