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firewood + hearth

  1. 5 Tips for Keeping Your Fireplace and Hearth Clean

    5 Tips for Keeping Your Fireplace and Hearth Clean

    When fall weather arrives, it's time for hot cider and unwinding with the family near the fire. It turns out fireplaces are for more than just warming ourselves up on a cold night. In fact, researchers found out a tranquil night by the fireplace can actually reduce blood pressure and induce relaxation. If you find yourself using your hearth regularly throughout the season, it is crucial to make sure you know that cleaning a fireplace is paramount to you and your family’s safety. Here are 5 tips for cleaning a fireplace to create a safe and cozy environment in your home.

    Why Cleaning a Fireplace is a Must

    Cleaning a fireplace is crucial, and not only for keeping your home and hearth aesthetically pleasing. There are key reasons why this should be a top priority before breaking out the firewood this winter.

    • Safety: The leading reason for home heating fires is when homeowners fail to clean the chimney. Fireplace cleaning is key to making sure your fire burns efficiently and safely. In fact, over 24,000 fireplace fires occur annually.
    • Aesthetics: No one wants to see buildup and soot on your hearth. It will give our living area an unkempt look and sometimes even an unwanted smell.
    • Convenience: The more often you maintain your hearth by cleaning a fireplace, the less elbow grease you’ll have to contribute to the cleaning process. A little maintenance cleaning will go a long way and save a ton of time.

    Check out these five tips for how to clean a fireplace hearth:

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  2. Improve Your Firewood Storage: 4 Basics Tips on What You Need to Know

    firewood storage tips

    You might think that how you store your firewood isn't all that important, but it's of the utmost importance for several reasons. In this article, we will go over the importance of storing your firewood correctly and four basic tips on how you can improve your firewood storage so that when you want to light a fire, you won't encounter any unnecessary problems or issues.

    seasoning shed for firewood storageseasoning shed for firewood storage

    The Importance of Firewood Storage

    Storing your firewood properly is important...

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  3. Fireplace Maintenance: Prep for the Winter Season

    Fireplace Maintenance: Prep for the Winter Season

    Using a fireplace to heat your home saves on electricity bills, fills your house with a wonderful and unique smell, and hearkens back to age-old traditions. However, a fireplace is bound to take a little bit more work than turning the dial on an electrical system.

    We want to help you prepare for the winter season so that you can stay safe but continue to enjoy evenings sitting in front of a beautiful, roaring fire. Read on to learn about how to properly maintain your fireplace for winter, keep your fireplace or wood-burning stove in good condition, and how to use your fireplace or wood-buring stove.

    The Importance of Fireplace Maintenance 

    First, why is it even important to worry about fireplace maitenance? It can be difficult for those who haven't used a fireplace before to understand the amount of work that can go into one. However, you should know that maintaining your fireplace is one of the best ways to stay safe. 

    The safety risks might seem pretty obvious to some, but they are still worth stating here. A fireplace or a wood-burning stove that has not been properly and regularly cleaned is at risk of starting a chimney fire. 

    Chimney fires happen due to burning embers heading up the flue of the chimney and coming into contact with creosote, a compound called "wood tar." It results during wood combustion and consists primarily of heavy oils. There are traces of it that can be found in the smoke and embers that head up the flu. 

    Over time, these tiny fragments attach to and stack up on the side of the chimney. If you have ever tried cleaning your chimney, you likely got covered in oily soot. Now you know just what part of that is.

    An improperly cleaned fireplace is among the top causes of house fires, even when fewer people use fireplaces and wood burners to heat their homes. If you don't know how to clean your chimney yourself, you can always hire a professional chimney sweep to clean...

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  4. How to Stack Firewood for Winter

    How to Stack Firewood for Winter

    Have you spent plenty of time over the summer working on seasoning your firewood? Do you heat your home with a burning fireplace or a fire stove? A steady supply of firewood keeps the heating costs down and is a much more environmentally-friendly fuel source than other heating options, unlike coal and oil. Then learning how to stack the firewood appropriately will be a valuable skill to have.

    When you start a firewood stack the right way, it will take around a year to properly stack it. That is why it is so important that you do it the right way right away. 

    ShelterLogic Heavy Duty Firewood RackShelterLogic Heavy Duty Firewood Rack

    How To Stack Firewood

    When you stack seasoned firewood, do it in a way that allows it to either naturally dry out or to stay dry. There are three primary facets of a well-done firewood stack. You need to keep the firewood raised...

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  5. 6 Tips for an Incredible Fireplace Makeover

    6 Tips for an Incredible Fireplace Makeover

    Does your home’s hearth leave you feeling less-than-inspired? While a traditional brick fireplace is a highly coveted feature, if the one you currently have doesn’t reflect your personal style, it can feel more like a drawback than a perk.

    Luckily, you don’t have to settle! From a fresh coat of paint to a complete fireplace makeover, there are plenty of ways to update your space. Here are a few of the most popular options for a simple DIY fireplace refresh.

    1. Give it a Good Cleaning

    Many homeowners find that giving their fireplace a thorough cleaning is enough to make them fall in love with it again. Not only is a dirty fireplace an eyesore, but it can also create a safety issue. That’s why we recommend cleaning your fireplace inside and out before you attempt any kind of fireplace makeover.  

    You’ll want to wait at least 12 hours after your last fire before you take on this project. This will ensure everything has had a chance to completely cool. When you’re ready, follow this step-by-step guide.  

    Step 1: Prepare the Area

    Cleaning your fireplace is a messy job, so it pays to prepare yourself and the area before you get started. Move everything you can away from the fireplace and put down plastic sheeting or drop cloths.

    Make sure you wear old clothes, rubber gloves, and a dust mask. If you have kneepads, put them on or use a thick folded towel to absorb some of the pressure.

    Step 2: Remove Ashes and Soot

    Using a hand broom or a small shovel, remove the ashes and dust from the fireplace. Then remove the grate or andirons, taking them outside to clean with soap and water. Set them aside to dry until you've finished the rest of your cleaning.

    Step 3: Clean the Inside

    Use a hand broom or dry bristle brush to sweep the inside walls, starting at the top and working your way do...

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  6. Should You Be Seasoning Firewood Now?

    Should You Be Seasoning Firewood Now?

    The summer season offers warm weather, outdoor fun, and plenty of backyard barbecues and chances to put your fire pit to use all season long. But what about your firewood supply for winter? You may not be thinking about preparing for the snowy season just yet, but fresh firewood should be taken care of sooner rather than later. Determine when you should be seasoning firewood in order to guarantee plenty of safe and efficient fires year-round.

    Why Do You Need to Season Firewood?

    Freshly cut or “green” firewood retains up to 45% or more of its moisture content. Too much moisture prevents firewood from burning properly, making it difficult to light, sustain, or effectively produce warmth. Further, burning wet firewood also increases smoke and creosote buildup that may threaten your home and health. Too much smoke and creosote greatly increase the risk of a home fire, while overexposure potentially contributes to respiratory damage, eye injury, and more. In order to enjoy safe and quality fires at home, firewood needs to be sufficiently dry. Seasoning firewood simply means airing out your pile in order to dry wood and bring the moisture content down to 20% or less. With less moisture, energy is spent actually burning the wood as opposed to drying it first, allowing for more successful, safe, and efficient fires.

    When Should You Season Firewood?

    seasoning firewood When it comes to seasoning firewood, the sooner the better. On average, it takes about 6 mon...

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