Do I Need to “Close” My Fireplace During the Summer?
While bracing for Texas heat, it is important to close your fireplace for the summertime. When you do it right, closing your fireplace and chimney during the offseason involves more than shutting the damper. Here’s why your fireplace safety summer priority should be to close your fireplace and chimney.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning
If you have a wood-burning fireplace that you used in winter, creosote is inside the chimney flue. Schedule chimney cleaning to have the creosote removed, which will mean avoiding undesirable consequences. Creosote is toxic, flammable, and acidic.
Leaving creosote in your chimney during hot, humid summer months can result in corrosion of clay tiles, mortar, steel, and any other materials that may be in your flue. A damaged chimney flue endangers homes and families. The cost of chimney cleaning is minimal particularly as compared to the higher cost of chimney liner repair or replacement.
Preventing smelly odors is another consideration. The act of closing your fireplace without having the chimney cleaned by a chimney sweep means trapping smelly odors that will likely seep into your home during the hottest days of summer.
Clean Your Fireplace
After a chimney sweep has cleaned your chimney, another way to properly close your fireplace is to give it a good scrubbing. Cleaning your fireplace involves removing ash, any remaining logs, and the iron grates. Cast iron grates can be cleaned with an iron paste and a stiff dry brush. Soot stains in and possibly around your hearth can usually be removed with a baking soda and warm water cleaning solution applied with a stiff brush and plenty of elbow grease. Manufacturer’s will provide instructions for when and how to clean fireplace glass doors.
Close the Damper
The chimney damper that must be open when the fireplace is in use should be closed with a tight seal during summer. If there is a gap when the damper is shut, summer utility costs will be higher than necessary. A damper that does not seal is like having an open window that never closes. Contact your trusted chimney sweep for damper repair or replacement.
Another option to consider if your damper is not sealing sufficiently is to have a top-sealing damper installed. Top-sealing dampers seal off the chimney flue from the outside, and they are more energy-efficient than the standard throat damper in masonry fireplaces.
Closing a Fireplace with Gas Logs
The damper in your chimney should always stay open as long as you have gas logs and the pilot light is in operation. Even if a gas fireplace is not used all summer, the pilot light is producing carbon monoxide, which is potentially deadly. So, the proper action to take in closing your gas fireplace for summer depends on whether the pilot light is extinguished because only then can the damper be closed.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps Today!
To schedule chimney cleaning, a chimney inspection, damper installation, and any help needed to close your fireplace in summer, contact the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Guardian Chimney Sweeps. Customer satisfaction is number one, and that is why you can depend on timely service and quality workmanship from Guardian Chimney Sweeps. Give us a call today at one of our numbers below.
Toll-free: (888) 306-6069
Conroe: (936) 271-9781
Houston: (713) 401-2011