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Woodfire Wisdom – A Guide to Using and Maintaining Your Fireplace

Photo by Olivia Henry on Unsplash
Written by Noelle Kelly

Maintaining and using that fireplace properly is as important as the warmth it provides.

When it comes to a blustery cold winter’s night, there’s no comfort greater than the warmth of a good fireplace. The crackling of fresh fire wood and the glow it provides just can’t be beat. However a fireplace, like everything else in life, comes with a required level of care to get the best experience possible. Not sure what you need to do? Use these tips as a guide to effectively using and maintaining your fireplace.

Safe Surrounds

A no brainer, right? However, it can sometimes be an overlooked element of installing a fireplace. The interior is extremely important for many reasons, but so is the outside. Fireplace surrounds are crucial for ensuring the right material is protecting your home.

From marble, stone or brick surrounds, it is important to remember that what happens in the fireplace needs to stay there. Selecting the right materials for your fireplace surrounds will help minimise the risk of fireplace accidents happening, not to mention that it’s one of the first things your guests will notice. Select a hardened material which is graded as fireproof.

Ashes to Ashes

One of the most crucial steps to maintaining your fireplace is correct cleaning afterwards. Once the fire has extinguished, it is best to remove all ashes. This can be done via an ash dump or physically removing the ashes by hand. The latter is a great way to help the gardens grow as fireplace ash is full of nutrients.

The danger of leaving the ash in the fireplace is that overtime it can build up and can actually catch fire. Most chimneys are not built with the same fire standard materials as the firebox itself; meaning if the ash catches it can cause serious damage.

Annual Check Up

Like most things in your household, your fireplace can benefit a lot from a professional check up every now and again. To properly maintain your fireplace, you should have it professionally cleaned and swept by a chimney sweep at least once a year.

Not only will this reduce the likelihood of fireplace incidents but it will also ensure you are always burning cleaner more efficient fires. A build-up of soot can impact the quality of your fire, suddenly turning what should be a warming fire into a mediocre effort at best.

Quality Woods

When you want a nice fire, the temptation can certainly be there to head out the back and chop a few trees down for firewood. However, if you want to use your fireplace properly, you should aim to only use proper wood, not ‘green’ wood. Good wood is logs that have been cut and dried for at least six months.

This helps ensure the moisture is complete removed and the log can burn at its potential. Green wood will create more soot and not burn efficiently. To get the most out of your fireplace make sure you use the right wood.

A fireplace in those chilly conditions is something that can truly warm your heart. But maintaining and using that fireplace properly is as important as the warmth it provides. Selecting the right surrounds, cleaning the interior and selecting the right wood are all crucial.

Next time you think about lighting the fireplace, consider this guide as a warm reminder of what you should be looking out for.

Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-AcceptanceAppreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer  the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have writtenIn that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.

That not all will enjoy my writing.

2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrastare there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?

I appreciate my ability to be creative.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.

Proud to have the writing skill.

4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

Ha, Many! I embrace them all.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my family.

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About the author

Noelle Kelly

Noelle is a freelance writer working for a variety of businesses across Australia. With a portfolio of work spanning a plethora of countries, industries and companies, she is always looking to broaden her understanding of the business landscape.

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