How to Maintain Your Wood-Burning Fireplace Part 2

fireplace tools for saleFireplace maintenance is important for preserving the life of your fireplace. An annual chimney cleaning should be done to clear away soot and debris, but maintaining your fireplace should be something you do regularly along with use of your fireplace. There are things you can do when you use your fireplace to make sure it burns efficiently and does not produce excessive soot and debris.

  • Clean Ash from Fireplace – When ash reaches the bottom of your grate, it can impede airflow and can produce more smoke and soot in your chimney. Clear away ash when too much is in the fireplace. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least an inch of ash to more easily maintain a fire.
  • Test Your Fireplace – Lighting some small pieces of well-seasoned wood will help you test the performance of your fireplace. If smoke fills your room instead of exiting through the chimney, some immediate troubleshooting will need to take place. There may be something visibly blocking the way of the chimney; a closed damper or wet wood can all cause this to happen.
  • Burn Only Seasoned Wood – Wood should be cut and dried for 6 to 12 months under cover before being burned in a fireplace. A meter can be used to find out the amount of moisture in a piece of wood. Wood that registers less than 20% is perfect for your fireplace. Fresh or “green” wood will not burn as thoroughly and will create more soot and debris in your chimney and fireplace.

It helps to have the right tools to maintain your fireplace while it is in operation and after your fire is out. If you would like to see a great selection of fireplace tools for sale, Adams Fireplace Shop has hundreds of antique and vintage fireplace tools for sale online and in store at our Cambridge, Massachusetts store. Visit us in person or shop online today at

How to Maintain Your Wood-Burning Fireplace Part 1

fireplace fenderMany people enjoy the benefits of having a wood-burning fireplace. The warmth on cool nights, the flickering light from the flames, the wood fire smell, all add comfort and ambiance to your home. To keep your fireplace lasting for years to come, you need to make sure you properly maintain it. What should you do to maintain your wood-burning fireplace?

  • Remove Ash from Firebox – wood-burning fireplaces may have an ash dump to remove ash from the firebox, or you can remove ashes from your fireplace once the fire has been completely put out and the ashes are cold. Removing ashes will ensure an even burn for your next fire and the ashes can actually be recycled. As a good source of plant nutrients, ashes can be sprinkled over flower beds.
  • Hire a Chimney Sweep – Once a year your chimney should be professionally inspected and swept as a part of fireplace maintenance. Chimneys become coated with soot and debris from use over time. You put yourself at risk for a fire if the soot is not properly cleaned out yearly. At the same time your chimney is cleaned, the bricks will be inspected. Missing, loose, and cracked bricks will need to be repaired or replaced to ensure the fireplace and chimney function properly.

When lighting a fire in your wood-burning fireplace, it is important to also make sure the area around your fireplace is safe. A fireplace fender in front of your fireplace will protect you and surrounding areas from ashes and sparks from the fireplace. If you would like an antique or vintage fireplace fender for your home, Adams Fireplace Shop has a great selection online and in store at our Cambridge, MA location.