There’s something so appealing about having a fireplace to call your own. The flickering light adds romance in the air, the aroma of wood burning spreads wholesome warmth throughout the rooms, and the crackling flames turn your living space into a cozy oasis. There really is nothing like the comfort of relaxing in front of a fireplace with a comfy blanket and a good flick. However, owning a home with a fireplace comes with some responsibility and if you aren’t aware, your tranquility can quickly turn into a travesty.
Determine Whether the Fireplace Is Gas or Wood-Burning
The first thing you need to know is whether or not the fireplace is gas or wood-burning. Both come with different maintenance requirements, precautions and prices. A gas fireplace is a safer alternative to the real deal but it can hike up your electricity bill and take away from the experience. On the contrary, wood burning fireplaces emit that true authentic fire smell while spreading heat throughout the room, but it can be a hazard and require more maintenance.
So, determine what type of fireplace comes with the home and discuss whether it’s a responsibility your family can take on.
Figure Out If the Fireplace Is Even Functional
Just because a home has a fireplace doesn’t mean that the fireplace is functional. It may have been years since the chimney was cleaned or the fireplace was used, and this is something you need to be aware of to ensure the safety and value of your new investment.
Additionally, if the fireplace is gas and not working properly, this could come with a hefty repair price.
A fireplace can be a great addition to a home but not all are safe. This is one mistake that can be detrimental to your investment.
Discuss Recent Repairs and Maintenance
Once you have gathered a little more information about the fireplace, you’ll want to inquire about the repairs and maintenance. If the current homeowners stayed on top of regular maintenance, chimney sweeps, repairs and used the fireplace responsibly and properly, this is a bonus.
However, if the homeowners can’t remember the last time a chimney sweep was done or the fireplace was looked at for maintenance and repairs, this is something to consider. If it hasn’t been taken care of, this luxury could quickly become a major expense and/or hazard.
Consider the Chemicals
Wood burning fireplaces are amazing because they’re natural. The comfort is authentic, the scent is genuine and the entire appeal is humbling. On the contrary, gas fireplaces are safer, hassle-free and with a flick of the switch, you get the flickering oasis you dreamed of. However, both options have their risks.
In order to use a wood burning fireplace, you need to be aware of what your putting into it. Depending on the materials you use, you could be filling your home with harmful chemicals and toxins from things such as the ink on newspapers and the sprays used on wood. You need to be aware of what you’re putting in your fire to ensure your health and safety.
The same can be said about gas fireplaces, as they have the potential to give off carbon monoxide. It’s important to always have a chemical and smoke detector installed and working properly to ensure your fireplace remains a luxury instead of a loss.
Know Your Materials
With the prior said, it’s important to know your materials and what should and shouldn’t be placed in a fireplace. Any wood that is stained, painted or treated should not be burned, as chemicals will emit into your breathing air. Paper and cardboard should never have ink, labels, glue or advertisements on them either. Seasonal wood is often the safest option to use but woods burn different depending on their type. These are all things you need to be aware of before lighting your first fire.
There’s no denying a fireplace is an excellent addition to a home’s interior. However, it comes with great responsibility that should never be taken lightly.