Always leave about 1″ to 2″ of ashes in the fireplace.
It serves as insulation for the fireplace, not giving the firebrick below a chance to absorb any heat This makes the heat reflect off the ashes and heats up the room in less time.
Stacking the wood in the proper manner is very important.
When wood is stacked in a confined area the smoke will follow an open flame. So, it is necessary to stack all the wood in the same direction. Preferably at a 45 degree angle or like a stairway toward the back of the chimney.
The grate is a steel rack where you place the wood. The narrow end of the grate should be toward the back wall, the widest part toward the front. It should be placed no further than 2″ away from the back wall of the fireplace.
Heat will erode the firebrick if the grate is against the back wall.
It is necessary for air to circulate around the fire to keep it burning.
It is strongly suggested that you not use pine wood.
Pine crackles, pops and the residue from the sap creates creosote build up in the chimney quicker than hardwoods. So, we highly recommend hardwoods, i.e.: oak, eucalyptus or hickory.Hardwoods burn cleaner, hotter and longer.
Installing a chimney cap makes chimney cleaning easier and ultimately safer. These devices keep small animals, insects and birds out of your chimney. No one wants to encounter a bird’s nest when attempting to clean a chimney or encounter the angry mother bird that is defending said nest. The chimney cap keeps other debris out of the chimney which may affect your ability to clean it, such as tree branches and leaves
The Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fire Protection Association recommends annual inspection and cleaning of every chimney by a licensed chimney sweep. These professionals have gone through extensive training in fire codes, construction standards and cleaning procedures. A licensed chimney sweep can identify areas of your chimney system that are not functioning properly and can recommend changes to the system, such as waterproofing, replacement parts, proper ventilation and new construction.
If you have no choice but to clean your chimney on your own, it’s important that you use proper protective gear, such as eye goggles, gloves and breathing equipment. AAA Chimney Sweep recommends using steel abrasive cleaning materials for chimneys that have clay liners and poly brushes for chimney liners that are made from stainless steel, which will ensure that the only thing removed is creosote and other debris and that you’re not actually scrubbing away the chimney liner. Keep all sources of flame or heat away from the chimney while cleaning it. Creosote can burn at temperatures of more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.