5 Considerations for a Homeowner

Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibilities and considerations, especially with inflation the highest it’s ever been. Special care is needed when it comes to your chimney or fireplace to make sure your home and family stay safe. Maintaining your chimney and fireplace regularly can also prevent expensive repairs down the road. Here are the top 5 considerations when it comes to buying a home with a fireplace you want to use. Let’s get into it:

  • How often should I have my fireplace or stove inspected and cleaned?

It’s recommended to have your fireplace or stove inspected and cleaned at least once a year to ensure that it is safe to use and free of any debris or buildup. These yearly cleanings help keep creosote buildup at bay, and promotes the longevity of your unit. Yearly inspections will also help identify any issues before they can become a more expensive problem. 

  • How much does it cost to sweep or repair my chimney or fireplace?

The cost of sweeping or repairing your chimney or fireplace can vary widely depending on the type and extent of repairs needed, location, labor rates, and materials used. Here is a list of common sweeping costs and repair issues and their potential cost:

Chimney sweep and inspections can cost anywhere between $200-$400, depending on location and the complexity of the chimney. 

Repairs are tricky as there are a lot of factors to determine the cost of a chimney repair. Minor chimney repairs like fixing small cracks and replacing chimney caps or dampers can range from $200 to $800 depending on the scope of work. More extensive repairs, like chimney crown and chimney liner repair can range anywhere from $500 – $4,000. It is important to mention that these are very rough estimates and the actual cost can vary. Your trusted chimney company can build a tailored quote to get you the most accurate estimate.

  • What type of wood should I burn in my fireplace or stove?

The type of firewood you burn in your chimney or fireplace will have an effect on how build-up happens within your flue. Burning hardwoods, such as oak, birch, and maple helps produce less creosote buildup. If efficiency rather than aesthetic is your goal, these hardwoods also burn hotter and longer. To learn a little more about the type of wood to burn efficiently and how, check out our blog here

  • How can I make my fireplace or stove more energy efficient?

As a homeowner, there are many things you can do to make sure your fireplace and chimney are performing efficiently. If your fireplace or stove has fireplace doors, make sure the doors are airtight. Installing glass fireplace doors is also a great way to improve efficiency as this will prevent warm air from escaping. If your fireplace is a traditional masonry fireplace, consider upgrading to an insert. A fireplace insert is designed to fit within your existing fireplace. Inserts will improve your fireplace efficiency by reducing the amount of air that is pulled from your home. This will  circulate more heat. As mentioned above, booking a yearly sweep and inspection will also keep your fireplace healthy and efficient. 

  • As a homeowner, can I install a fireplace or stove myself or should I hire a professional?

The installation of a fireplace or stove can be a very complex and a potentially hazardous task. It is recommended you hire a professional for safe and proper installation. Fireplace installations involve dealing with combustible materials and dangerous emissions like carbon monoxide. There are codes and regulations in place to prevent issues with carbon monoxide and to prevent a chimney or house fire. A professional will be familiar with these codes and regulations and will make sure the fireplace is installed properly and to code. This knowledge base will include ventilation requirements and safety regulations. Some jurisdictions may allow a homeowner to install certain fireplaces, but it is still strongly recommended to carefully consider the complexity and safety risk involved. Consult and work with a professional for peace of mind. 

Having a fireplace in your home is a cozy, often wonderful addition to any room. They bring warmth and comfort, (who doesn’t love a crackling fireplace?) and can even help increase home value if you’re in the market to sell. Along with any other appliance in the home, they must be included within your scope of considerations as a homeowner to ensure your fireplace works safely and efficiently for years to come.

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