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Our spring fireplace checklist

by Rebecca Hurst

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Spring Fireplace…

Now the warmer weather has finally arrived, it’s the perfect time to turn your attention to your fireplace. It may sound counterintuitive, but while the weather is warm and you’re not using your fireplace, it’s the ideal opportunity to conduct some much-needed fireplace maintenance.

To help you get started and ensure you don’t miss anything, we’ve put together a spring fireplace checklist that’s really simple to follow.

1. Clean your chimney

After a long winter burning logs or coal, your chimney liner is likely to be covered in creosote. This black substance, consisting mainly of tar, comes from the smoke that travels up your chimney. When the smoke gets near the top of your chimney, it cools, and the creosote can solidify and stick to your chimney liner (or, if you have an open chimney, to the chimney itself).

So what’s the problem? Well, creosote is extremely flammable. So if you don’t ensure that your chimney is cleaned on a regular basis, you could be putting your home at risk of a chimney fire.

Having your chimney swept by a HETAS approved chimney sweep now, rather than leaving it until autumn just before you need to use your fire again, means that you won’t need to sit with your fire off during cool autumn nights because there was a long waiting list for your local chimney sweep. Spring is much quieter for chimney sweeps so by planning ahead, you can make sure your fireplace is safe and clean for when you next need it.

Plus, you may even save a bit of money, as chimney sweeps sometimes offer spring and summer deals.

If you have a gas fire, now is also a good time to book in your annual gas service.

2. Decorate your fireplace for the spring and summer

Just because you won’t be lighting your fire during the warmer months, doesn’t mean your fireplace shouldn’t still be a beautiful focal point in your room.

If you have an oak fireplace mantel, you could decorate your oak fireplace beam for the season. A couple of bunches of tulips and some spring-themed bunting, always work a treat.

Putting dried or fake flowers in, or in front of, your wood-burning stove or even filling your stove with twinkling fairy lights, also looks stunning. You could even buy some warm, flame-flickering style lights to go into your stove.

Alternatively, you could place some church-style candles into your wood-burning stove and light them when you’re sitting inside on cooler evenings. Just remember to place them on little heatproof plates so the wax doesn’t get everywhere. Otherwise, you could be cleaning your stove in autumn after all!

3. Carry out any fireplace renovations now

If you want to add or replace a wood-burning stove or install an oak beam above your fireplace, now is the best time to do it. This way, you can do the work during the warmer months and make sure your fireplace is ready for the cold nights next winter!