The season for roaring fires warming your home may not be here quite yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your fireplace. The summer months are a great time to creatively use your space, and they’re also a great time to take steps to ready your system for fall – and to invest in ways to increase your enjoyment of it year-round.
So, what should be included on your Summertime Fireplace Checklist?
✔ Book a Sweeping & Inspection
Let’s start with the pragmatic stuff. Your chimney system should be inspected by a professional every year, and your chimney should be swept before each burning system begins (and more frequently if you use it very often).
A chimney sweep technician has the tools, knowledge, and experience to remove accumulated creosote, nests, and any other debris that may have found its way into your chimney system. Being diligent about sweepings and inspections is an investment in the safety and longevity of your fireplace system, as well as your indoor air quality.
Chimney sweeps tend to be very busy in fall and winter, so summer is a great time to get on the books.
✔ Invest in Upgrades
If your fireplace is looking a little tired or simply isn’t your style anymore, make space this summer for an upgrade. Or maybe you have a wood-burning fireplace, but your lifestyle is more compatible with a gas unit that can be ignited with the push of a button. Whether for style, efficiency, or ease of use, there are all kinds of ways we can help you make your fireplace system work for you.
With options like refacing with stone, brick, concrete, or tile; adding a new mantel; or even installing an ultra efficient insert, you’ll be amazed at how your fireplace elevates the aesthetic of your living space!
Why is summer ideal for upgrade? Since you likely aren’t using your fireplace in the warmer months anyway, it’s a convenient time to give your fireplace a facelift. Not to mention, our schedule books aren’t as jam-packed either.
✔ Get Repairs On the Calendar
Summer is primetime for chimney repairs. Not only do chimney technicians tend to have more availability, but the weather is more favorable for making certain types of fixes. And, of course, your own use of your chimney won’t be disrupted like it would in the thick of the burning season.
If you noticed any issues with your fireplace over the winter, don’t wait until they’re forgotten or it’s cold again to address them. Prompt attention to repairs helps prevent further damage and ensures your fireplace will be ready to go when temperatures drop and you’re craving a cozy fire.
✔ Scoop Out Ash
During the burning season, a layer of ash can be helpful. It insulates the firebox and aids in combustion. Leaving ashes all summer, however, can damage your fireplace or wood stove and create unpleasant odors.
When scooping ash, be sure to use suitable tools and remove the ashes to a fireproof container with a well-fitting lid. Ashes should always be completely cool before scooping, and they should be removed to an area outside the home rather than stored inside.
Puzzled as to what to do with your cooled ashes? Wood ash has a number of household and garden uses, from soil amendment and compost component to cleaning, soaking up spills, and deterring garden pests.
✔ Make It a Focal Point
Even when you aren’t using it, a fireplace draws the eye and acts as a gathering spot. Transform it for summer to prominently display items you love and add character to your home. Arranging potted plants of varying sizes and textures – or one larger attractive plant – to showcase your favorite indoor plants and add an airy touch of nature to your living space.
Layering artwork and family pictures can also bring comfort and add personal style. Or stacking decorative logs ends-out to fill your fireplace can add a cohesive and organic feel to your room. You can also add more seating for summer gatherings by positioning a bench or chair near your fireplace since heat won’t be a factor.
✔ Bring the Atmosphere (Without the Heat)
If you miss the ambiance of a fire’s glow during the summer, you can bring it – sans the heat – by creatively using battery-operated LED string lights, or by decorating your fireplace with candles. This gentle illumination can increase the drama or the coziness factor without also increasing the temperature in your home.
✔ Use It!
Weather can be variable, and people’s home thermostat preferences vary. If a fire seems appealing on a cooler summer evening, there’s no rule against lighting a fire! Just be sure your chimney has been properly maintained. If you have a mixed firewood supply of hard and soft woods, this may be time to reach for more softwoods, which burn less intensely. And remember – whether you’ve used it recently or not, your chimney should be inspected yearly.
We Can Help With Maintenance & Repairs
Your fireplace doesn’t need to sit idle and neglected during the summer months. Make the most of it, whether through maintenance, upgrades, or intentional home decorating and design. Embracing the versatility of this home feature lets it continue to be a charming and functional addition to your home, even when temperatures are high. And attentive use of summer for maintaining your system will help ensure that you’ll be enjoying it for all its worth for years to come.
Need some professional help? We’re here for you. Call or reach out online today.