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Cleaning Your Fireplace
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Taking proper care of your fireplace is crucial. Homeowners need to understand their fireplace and chimney in order to keep it safe, clean and working efficiently. The most critical component of any fireplace is the chimney. This is where heat, smoke, and exhaust escape, leading to deposits of creosote and other forms of debris.

The chimney should be cleaned professionally at least once a year to ensure that the creosote build up is removed. Not only does a build up of creosote create an unsafe and inefficient fireplace, but it often leads to an unfriendly odor as well. This is especially true during summers. Spring is the best time to have your fireplace cleaned out, preparing you for a warm, odor free, safe winter.

Gas fireplaces should also be checked and cleaned annually. It is common for small animals to find their way into your chimney. Modern flues are equipped with caps and mesh wire to prevent unwanted outside debris from entering into your home. If your fireplace is older, consider upgrading to a newer style flue. If your fireplace does contain a flue cap and wire mesh, make sure the cap is in the proper place and the wire mesh is cleaned. A service professional will check for these things during a chimney sweep.

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