What is it that you’re looking for from your fireplace? That seems like a pretty straightforward question with a pretty straightforward answer. You want to use your fireplace to provide heat. Of course, there’s probably more to it than that. Some people use their fireplaces as a supplemental heat source, a way to turn down the furnace and keep the rest of the house cooled down while staying snuggled in and warm in the living area. This is a great way to keep those heating bills down and keep more money in your wallet. Others may use their fireplaces for their aesthetic appeal. A cozy night at home in the middle of a cold winter feels just that much cozier if you can snuggle down in front of a snapping, crackling fire. A fireplace is so much more than just a bunch of bricks taking up wall space. It can be something different to different people, but no matter what the reason that you love your fireplace, it has a definite function in your home.
The Function of a Wood Burning Fireplace
For many people, when you talk about a fireplace, they automatically think about wood logs burning with a mesmerizing display of flames and the red glow of the wood beneath. A wood-burning fireplace offers the satisfaction of providing a heat source for your family, all the way from cutting down the trees, splitting it into burnable-sized chunks, stacking and storing the wood while it seasons and dries, then laying a fire on a cold winter’s night and keeping the fire going. There’s a certain feeling of contentment that comes from knowing you’re keeping your family warm and cozy during a cold Massachusetts winter. This is a cheap heating source, especially if you or a friend have trees that need to be cut down.
The Function of a Gas Fireplace
If the idea of relaxing in front of a crackling fire appeals to you, but the work of getting firewood, storing it and keeping a fire going doesn’t, then the way to go is gas. Gas fireplaces are great because they’re so easy. Once installed, all it takes is a flip of a switch or the push of a button on the remote control and you’ve got a fire going. No stacking, no hauling, no cleanup. You can’t get any easier than that! When you’re ready to turn in or leave the house, just flip or push again and you’re ready to go. One caveat, though: if you’re going to go the way of a gas fireplace, make sure you have a certified professional install it for you. Gas is nothing to mess around with if you don’t know for sure what you’re doing, and you don’t want to risk your family’s health and safety just to save a few bucks.
Whether you have a gas or a wood fireplace, make sure that you are maintaining them properly. When you burn wood, a natural byproduct that is formed is creosote. Creosote builds up on the inside of your chimney and when this buildup gets too thick, it can start to emit a nasty odor. Worse than the odor, though, is the fact that creosote is highly flammable. According to the CSIA website, even as little of an eighth of an inch of creosote buildup can cause a devastating chimney fire to occur. This is why it’s so important to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected every year by a CSIA certified chimney sweep. Gas fireplace owners need to have this yearly inspection completed as well, even though gas won’t form as thick of a creosote buildup as burning with wood does. Gas fireplaces do still emit fumes which can have a corrosive effect on the chimney or the chimney liner. If your chimney liner is damaged, it can mean that gases that should be escaping through your chimney are actually leaking back into your home, which could cause health issues for your family or pets.
Call in the Pros from Firesafe Chimney Service
If you live in Worcester, Massachusetts or any of the surrounding counties and it’s time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected, then call in the pros from Firesafe Chimney Service. Jim Walling and his CSIA certified chimney and fireplace technicians have the knowledge and expertise to handle any wood-burning or gas fireplace installation or problem that might arise, and with years of experience under our belts, we can ensure that your fireplace will be kept in top condition. Whether you have been noticing problems with your chimney system or just need routine maintenance and cleaning, when you call Firesafe, you’ll be getting top of the line service. Call us today to set up an appointment!