It’s one of those indelibly romantic images that may have been central to your decision to invest in a new fireplace in the first place: the warm glow or crackling fire that reminds you that while it’s now the winter, you’re in the perfect warm and cosy environment.
But of course, few people purchase a fireplace purely for its sounds or aesthetics. It’s therefore crucial, when the nights begin to draw in, to ensure your fireplace is suitably prepared for the colder months, so that you can depend on it to deliver reliable warmth without too much hassle.
Check your chimney
A chimney that you might not have needed to use since last winter can easily become blocked with animal nests or leaves, so it’s vital that you take a look and have it swept before you light your first fire this November or December.
You won’t want the considerable hazard of thick smoke being sent backwards into your home, simply because you didn’t bother to check your chimney first!
Replenish the fuels you need
This may seem like an obvious point, but we’re sure you’ll wish to avoid the classic nightmare situation of your boiler breaking down so that you have to resort to your fireplace instead, only to suddenly realise you forgot to stock up on any fireplace fuel this year.
The good news is that we can be a great source of such fuels here at Evans Fireplace Centre, with premium kiln dried logs available that contain less moisture than green or seasoned logs, which enables them to produce more heat and burn for longer. We can also offer smokeless coal for your multi-fuel stove.
Make sure the fireplace is in good condition
Remember that even if you only occasionally need to use your fireplace, in the event that an emergency does occur such as your central heating ceasing to work, you might need to depend on the fireplace for several days.
It isn’t necessarily a difficult job to inspect a fireplace, but it can be a dirty one, so we would advise you to wear old clothes including a hat, as well as a dust mask and safety goggles. If all of this sounds a little intimidating, it might be best to get a professional to do the job for you.
Practice building a fire
If you’ve not built a fire for a year or longer, it’s a good idea to get slowly back into it, until it becomes natural for you again.
You can do so by first placing tinder – easily burned materials such as paper – at the bottom, before adding kindling materials on top. By stacking up fire logs on your andirons and using a matchstick to light your tinder, you can easily get into some early fire-building practice that will serve you well later in the winter, when you are much more likely to require your fireplace or stove.
Have the damper and flue ready
You will also need to remember to open the damper before making your first fire of the winter, so that your home does not fill up with smoke.
We would also suggest that you light a roll of newspaper and spend several minutes holding it up to the damper opening, to ensure cold air does not billow smoke into your home after the damper is opened.
The above are all wise ways to get your fireplace up and running quickly for a time of year when the warmth that your fireplace emits may not be merely welcome, but nigh-on essential. Choose Evans Fireplace Centre in Leicester as your go-to source of fireplace fuels and accessories, and you can have even greater confidence in your fireplace being thoroughly ‘shipshape’ for the colder months.