If you are like many people, you might be looking forward to using your fireplace this winter. After all, your fireplace can help you warm your home and save money on heating bills. Plus, few things can be more cozy than using a fireplace. However, before you load it up with wood this winter, there are a few steps that you'll want to take. These are a few things that you should do before winter begins so that you'll be ready to use your fireplace this year.
1. Have It Inspected
First of all, you will obviously want to make sure that your fireplace is as safe as possible. If you don't know much about fireplaces, simply doing your own visual inspection might not be enough, particularly if your home is old and if your fireplace hasn't been inspected in a while. If you hire a chimney inspection and repair service like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service, someone can come out and inspect, maintain and repair your fireplace and chimney. This will help you ensure that you and your family are safe while you're using your fireplace this year, and it will also help you avoid any problems throughout the winter season.
2. Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Even though you might think about gas-powered fireplaces when you think about carbon monoxide, you should know that a wood-burning fireplace can produce carbon monoxide as well if it's not vented properly. Therefore, it's critical to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home before using your fireplace for safety reasons. Additionally, you'll want to install smoke detectors — or check the batteries in your existing smoke detectors — before using your fireplace, for obvious reasons.
3. Stock Up on Wood
Some people make the mistake of buying wood for their fireplaces as they need it. This is a bad idea for a few reasons. For one thing, if you get snowed in, you might not be able to get out to purchase wood when you need it. Plus, you'll generally pay more for wood this way than if you purchased it in bulk. Additionally, if you wait until the middle of winter, you might find that wood for your fireplace is harder to find than you thought it would be. For the best deals and to avoid running out of firewood, it's a good idea to go ahead and buy it in bulk before winter hits. Just make sure that you store it properly so that you don't have to worry about it getting wet. Then, you'll know that you have a nice supply of firewood for when you need it.