Fireplaces are great for gathering with the family around the holidays or snuggling up next to on a chilly night. The purpose of a fireplace is not just to keep you warm, but it can also be a decorative focal point in your home!
Types of fireplaces differ in how they burn and produce heat. Both manufactured and modular homes can feature gas, wood, or electric burning fireplaces, depending on your home building facility. Caring for your fireplace may vary based on which type of fireplace you choose. Refer to the owner's manual for your specific fireplace manufacturer for important tips on how to keep your fireplace working safely and properly.
Check out this guide to cleaning and maintenance for the different types of fireplaces!
Gas Burning Fireplace Maintenance
Sometimes, homeowners prefer gas burning fireplaces so they don't have to deal with gathering and using firewood, but it’s still important to properly maintain your gas fireplace. Watch for these signs that could point to a problem in your gas burning fireplace:
- Crumbling bricks
- Eroded mortar joints
- Damp patches on interior walls or exterior walls
- Stains, typically white, on the outside of the chimney¹
If you notice any of these problems, we recommend contacting a professional chimney sweep to assess your fireplace and resolve the issue. Addressing the problems soon after you've noticed them could help save you money on a potentially costly repair and will help keep your family and home safe.
Wood Burning Fireplace Maintenance
Wood burning fireplaces are often the first that come to mind when thinking about a fireplace. However, there are different types of wood burning fireplaces such as the traditional open hearth, enclosed and fireplace inserts. No matter what sub-category your wood burning fireplace falls under, follow these tips to take care of it:²
- Remember safety first - Always make sure your fireplace is completely cold before performing any maintenance.
- Wear gloves - Remove ash from the firebox using the ash dump or straight from the firebox once the fire is completely out and the ashes are cold.
- Hire someone to professionally clean your chimney once a year- If you use your fireplace frequently, you may want to do this more often. It is always safer to hire a professional. By doing so, the person cleaning your chimney may also clean out your fireplace and inspect it for any cracks.
- Test your fireplaces functionality first - Light a few smaller pieces of wood first to make sure the smoke goes up, vertically through the chimney and not out into your home.³
Electric Fireplace Maintenance
If you are looking for a low maintenance fireplace, then an electric fireplace is perfect for you. Electric fireplaces require very little ventilation and do not produce any kind of ash or soot to your firebox's interior. Even though electric fireplaces are easy to care for, there are still a few maintenance tips to follow:⁴
- Have the wiring checked routinely by a professional - This will ensure the wiring of your fireplace is up to par before using it.
- Switch lightbulbs about every two years - Check with the manufacturer of your fireplace in case they recommend a different frequency to change the bulbs.
- Clean the glass of your fireplace doors regularly - Make sure to not use household glass cleaners or other abrasive chemical when wiping the display. Just simply moisten a cloth and wipe it down.
- Clean the fireplace's fan properly - Make sure the unit is completely off and unplugged. Take off the grille and lightly brush each blade to clean off dust.⁴
No matter what type of fireplace you have, you should install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in your home for safety. These tips and tricks will help to ensure that your fireplace remains a safe and enjoyable part of your home.