People who own homes with fireplaces are well aware of how nice it is to relax and cozy up in front of a crackling fire on a snowy evening. Even the smell is something to enjoy. There are other things that they know as well, things that will help keep the fireplace running efficiently and safely for many years to come. Things like cleaning out the firebox every few fires burned, and making sure the area around your fireplace is kept clear of flammable items like pillows, blankets, and magazines are important for fire safety. Everyone knows the importance of having your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned on an annual basis by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep company like SirVent Chimney and Venting Service. One of the first things we’ll look for when we come in for an inspection is creosote buildup. Clearing creosote out of your chimney is an important step towards making sure that your home is safe from the dangers of a chimney fire.

What is Creosote?

Every fireplace owner should be aware of the dangers of creosote buildup. Trees contain a high moisture content, and when you cut down the tree, much of that moisture stays in the capillaries of the wood. In order to have an effective burn, this moisture must be allowed to dry out. That’s why it’s so important to cure your wood before you burn it. The longer you allow the wood to sit outside in the sun and wind, the dryer your wood will be. But it’s about impossible to get all the moisture out of the wood, and so when you burn wood in your fireplace, that moisture, along with other chemicals, is released in the form of smoke. When this condenses on the top interior of the chimney, it forms a highly flammable substance called creosote. This is one reason that it’s so important to make sure you pick the right type of firewood for your fireplace.

Firewood Tips

Different types of firewood burn differently. Most often, the heaviest firewood is better, as well as the driest. Your firewood should be well-cured, left to dry for at least six months, but longer is even better. This allows as much moisture as possible to leave the wood before you start to burn it. All types of wood need to be cured, but there are certain types of wood that offer a better burn. Oak is always a great choice for fire burning, but there are other options that are great as well. For a slow-burning fire, try burning hawthorne, rowan, or yew. For a dense firewood with a high energy level, try hickory or black locust. And if you’re looking for a fire with very little smoke, try burning thorn or walnut. Other great burning woods with great aromas are applewood and cherrywood. And birch is a great choice as well.

Have Your Chimney Inspected

Whatever type of wood you use, you’ll want to have your chimney inspected on a yearly basis for creosote buildup. Give SirVent Chimney and Venting Service a call today to get your appointment set up.