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Many people make use of a real fireplace during the winter months. Some even use it during the cooler spring, summer and fall nights for ambience. Using a fireplace with a chimney in Chesapeake, VA, won’t only help create a cozier atmosphere, but it’ll also help save money on heating expenses once the cooler months roll back around. Whatever your reason for using a fireplace, follow these four helpful chimney care tips to improve comfort and increase efficiency.

Check and Clear the Area Around the Chimney

Keep your chimney along with its hearth free of any potentially hazardous materials. If you don’t, you increase the risk of the fire spewing from the fireplace. If there are any trees within 15 feet of the chimney, make sure to have them cut down.

Keep the Damper Closed

The damper determines the amount of air that passes through the chimney. Although it’s good to make sure the damper is open when you have a fire going, it’s best to close it once the flame goes out. This will help prevent heat loss.

Get Rid of the Ashes Properly

When emptying the ashes from the fireplace, make sure to place them in a metal container, and store the container no less than 20 feet from the house. If you want, you can use the ashes to increase the alkalinity in any garden soil you may have. You only want to do this, though, with garden soil that has a pH of less than 5.5.

Use Only Seasoned Wood

Only use seasoned wood when starting a fire in the fireplace. Seasoned wood has dried for a period of time of at least 12 months. If you use wet wood, this can produce a poor fuel source as well as result in smoky fires.

Whether you use your chimney in the summer or don’t, you shouldn’t neglect it. Use these helpful summer chimney care tips to keep your family safe. Want to learn more about taking care of your chimney? Contact Rooftop Chimney Sweeps to speak with a chimney liner installation and repair specialist.

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