You have questions about your fireplace, and we have answers! Many homeowners want a fireplace, but it’s often the least thought about part of a home, outside of the décor.
How do ensure the fireplace doesn’t have a strong draft that sucks the warm out of your home?
What do you do about the strong odors emanating from your fireplace?
Why is the glass turning black and what should you do about it?
Are there hidden malfunctions that could cause a serious fire a necessary 911 call?
If you are about to build a home, add a fireplace, or need to improve the efficiency or décor of your fireplace, this is a must-read resource to ensure you get exactly what you need and want?
Are you ready?
Let’s dive in and answer the questions above and much more…
Glass or wrought iron comes down to preference. The key is to make sure you have a properly tempered glass if that’s what you choose. Wrought iron fireplace doors are one of our favorites due to its strength, durability, ability to help distribute heat, and most important… we can custom make it look like almost anything you want.
The challenge is if you buy it pre-manufactured it likely will not properly fit your fireplace. See the next question…
In all likelihood, your fireplace door is not sealed properly causing your fireplace to burn inefficiently. It’s a common issue with pre-manufactured fireplace doors. Each fireplace is unique and as a result, the specifications to properly seat and seal a fireplace door requires the right dimensions. You would be amazed at how a small gap due to improper sizing of fireplace doors can cause a big problem.
The reason is simple… when fireplace doors do not seal properly as they allow a draft into the fireplace. Think of it like a small wind tunnel that fuels the fire, makes it hotter, and consumes the wood quicker.
First, is your fireplace new or older?
In a newer fireplace, it’s normal for the metal to put off a slight odor in the beginning. Also, what are you using for fuel?
Only use seasoned wood and newspaper for kindling. Firestarters can cause a smell so consider not using them. If you use prefabricated logs, these products are bound together with a wax-type substance which does not dissipate. This wax can pool and can cause a very foul odor.
In addition, if the wood is wet it will smoke more heavily and cause a buildup inside the fireplace and along the fireplace insert going up the chimney. Wet wood will have a unique odor depending on the type of wood you are burning and its moisture level.
Finally, you may also have a downdraft on windy days. If you don’t clean your fireplace regularly and it’s humid, and your fireplace door isn’t properly sealed, you may smell the burnt wood and ashes in your fireplace.
There are many reasons a fireplace needs to be inspected and cleaned. Let’s look at some very important ones for both gas and wood fireplaces.
Both gas and wood burning fireplaces must be well ventilated. Sometimes birds make nests that block the ventilation. If there are trees nearby, they could drop leaves. Once wet, from either humidity or rain, leaves can stick to the outside of the chimney. It’s vital the chimney works properly to prevent smoke and dangerous fumes from entering your home.
Wood burning fireplaces need annual cleaning because of the buildup of soot and creosote. Soot and creosote are a large contributor to many chimney fires, and as noted above can contribute to unwanted odors in your home.
It’s also a good idea to have your fireplace box examined regularly to ensure it’s not rusting and will work as intended.
While gas fireplaces do burn clean, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be inspected annually for any necessary repairs. You want to ensure that everything is working properly. Over time, valves and connections could develop leaks. The thermopile and thermocouple could be worn and/or need cleaning. The ceramic logs should be checked to ensure they are properly placed and in working condition. Also, pilot lights can develop issues and malfunction.
Unfortunately, gas fireplaces are susceptible to fires and sudden explosions if there are leaks and malfunctions that you may not have noticed.