Nothing beats sitting in front of a fireplace to take off the winter chill. It's also a stunning focal point in your home where you can relax or for entertainment and family gatherings.
Many homes today have a fireplace. And if you're like most homeowners, you're probably wondering about a few things you've heard about its upkeep, longevity, performance, and chimney repairs. As a fireplace expert who has been in the business for many years, we've heard almost all fireplace myths in the book. And today, we'll bust out some of those myths and separate facts from fiction.
Myth #1: If You Rarely Use Your Chimney, It Will Not Require Regular Inspections
Your fireplace will buildup soot and creosote in its fuel lining over time. That's why it is vital to clean it and have it inspected. Creosote is the flammable black tar deposit on your chimney walls as a result of wood smoke.
However, these burning wood by-products are not your only concerns. You should also give the same importance to the structural integrity of your chimney. Your ventilation system and chimney will breakdown if there are cracks in the liner or masonry, moisture, and debris from any nesting animals.
Regular inspections, which is usually every year, can help you detect these issues early on and prevent expensive repairs in the future. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
Myth #2: Cleaning Your Chimney Yourself Can Help Save You Money
Well, this can be true if you're a professional chimney sweeper. There are many risks involved in inspecting and cleaning a chimney.
First, cleaning creosote from your chimney walls is not an easy task. It will be quite challenging for you to do it without the right set of tools and knowledge. Also, you may overlook sections with damage both up your chimney and your fireplace.
At the end of the day, you can maintain the safe functionality of your fireplace by having a professional clean and inspect it. Also, they will be able to catch any issues before they worsen and hurt your pockets with costly repairs.
Myth #3: A Fireplace Will Make A Room Cooler Instead Of Hotter
There's a little truth to this myth, but it's fixable. For a fire to burn, it will require oxygen which will come from the air surrounding it. As the air moves into the area of the fire, cooler air often from someplace in your home replaces it.
The remedy for this is a fireback. You can fit the device against the back wall of your fireplace, and it will radiate heat back out in your room. Fireplace inserts are also a good option that can cause fires to burn even hotter and efficiently.
Myth #4: Wood Fireplaces Are More Fuel Efficient Than Gas
When it comes to cost, a wood fireplace will only win over a gas fireplace if you live near a forest where you have free access to a vast source of fuel you can easily obtain.
Using wood as a source of fuel is less efficient since it can only generate around 25% heat for your home. Also, it will only create more heat while it's burning, and most of it will end up lost in your chimney.
Natural gas may only produce slightly less heat but it's 70% to 99% more efficient. It's also a quite cheap source of energy. Additionally, your home is more likely to already come with a connection of natural gas, which makes a gas fireplace a welcome addition to your humble abode.
Myth #5: Wood-Burning Fireplace Is Bad For Indoor Air Quality
The effect of an open wood fireplace on the air quality inside your home has been revolutionized by the clean burn technology. Today, these fireplaces have a much less overall impact in the air and our environment.