Home Fireplace Safety and Home Insurance

Nov 8, 2021 | Affiliates

Whether in Winter or just really cold months, heating bills can get higher than normal. If electricity consumption is too expensive, most people turn to wood as a source of heat. There are lots of equipment that you could use for heating, and the most commonly used ones are wood-burning fireplace/s and wood stoves. Thus, home fireplace safety and maintenance are important.  And does having a fireplace affect your home insurance?

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Does having a fireplace affect your Home Insurance Rates?

Yes, built-in fireplaces may affect home insurance rates. However, your insurance prices will depend on your insurer and fireplace type. Along with your roof, HVAC unit, and other critical home pieces, examine your fireplace. Some people really want to make sure this added risk is assessed properly so we also advise proper maintenance.

Why is Home Fireplace Safety and Maintenance Important?

It is one thing to know the elements of your heating system and another thing in choosing which wood-burning system you should use. It all depends on you as a homeowner. Some homeowners want something more aesthetically pleasing, some owners choose practicality. Either way, as long as it serves its purpose and keeps your home and loved ones warm, it is good. Want someone to make your own beautiful fireplace? Then, this Maxs Woodworking is for you.

Wood Stove vs. Fireplace

If you need to burn lots of wood, it is smart to decide which equipment are you going to use. Knowing the equipment, even for a little, would help you spend less on heat. Especially if there is a lot of burning to do. Check out this Wood Burner Pro that is perfect for homeowners, campers, and RVers – anyone burning firewood in a wood stove, fireplace, campfire, firepit, or chimney will benefit.

Efficiency

Generally, wood uses the cheapest type of fuel to heat up. It gives people the notion that it is way more efficient than others. But when used in a fireplace, it comes off as the least efficient way of getting heat. This is because most of the heat escapes and comes out of the chimney. Thus, beating the purpose of actually heating up the place. While wood stoves, on the other hand, give off more heat.

Environmental Friendliness

It is established that wood stoves are more eco-friendly than fireplaces. Since wood stoves give off more heat from the wood, it is more gentle to the Earth than a fireplace.

Interior Design

There is no competition in this one. The majority of people would agree that a fireplace would be much more aesthetically pleasing than a wood stove. A fireplace would give off a fancy and natural vibe to the place. On the other hand, a wood stove has its own style. A wood stove’s design is very customizable and is perfect for homeowners who have a theme in their homes. But this takes away the natural vibe of it. You may also commission Ted’s Woodworking for your interior design at home.

Safety

Stoves have a way of burning the byproducts completely. This means that stoves leave no materials that can cause any wood buildup that can potentially be more hazardous. While an open burning fireplace poses a lot of threats if not barred with any closing door or screen. Babies or pets can be drawn to the fire and cause injury to your loved ones.

Whatever method of burning wood you choose, there are pros and cons. It would depend on your lifestyle and preference. Homeowners should always look into how things should be maintained in their households. Installing a wood-burning fireplace isn’t as easy as it sounds, there is a lot at risk here including their safety and health. With that being said, there are several tips that could help homeowners create a safe and well-maintained fireplace.

If the cold is causing you to burn lots of wood, there are tips that you can observe to maintain a wood-burning fireplace.

Ten Tips for Wood-Burning Fireplace Maintenance for your Fireplace Home Insurance

Regular Inspection

Just like your whole house, it is important to have a regular inspection of your fireplace. It would be best to have it inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweeper at least once a year. If you notice any creosote buildups, have it checked more than once a year. Especially if the build-up is rapidly increasing, have it removed as soon as possible for home fireplace safety. Professional chimney sweep services range from $100 to $200 depending on where you live. Better inquire about your nearest chimney sweep for a quotation.

Monitor the fireplace

To help the professional chimney sweep, it is better to observe your own fireplace before the regular inspection. In this way, you could tell the service what you think the problem is that you observed with your fireplace. Just in case they miss anything, you could tell them of your observations right away.

Regular cap replacement

Chimneys often come with a cap with open sides. This is usually covered with mesh to protect the chimney from debris, rain, birds, squirrels, or other animals from coming in. Since this cap serves as a shield from these elements, it should be maintained. Always make sure that this cap serves its purpose by inspecting it and having it replaced when needed. Small things like this are usually neglected but could pose a big threat to the household if left unattended. Caps should always be a part of your regular inspection.

Check the interior for creosote

What we are really looking after now is the buildups after burning wood. This could cause further damage to the house or injury to the people living in it. Always check the interior of your wood-burning fireplace and get rid of the creosote buildup. These buildups could ignite again and burn the whole house down. Beware of it.

Check the interior for soot

Soot is softer than creosote but is flammable and should be cleaned regularly. It is as dangerous as creosote.

Choose the wood to burn

If you can burn hardwoods. Hardwoods such as maple, oak, ash, and birch. These kinds of woods burn hot and long, keeping you warm for a long period of time. Hardwood also has less pitch and sap, which causes less creosote buildup. Even though hardwoods are more expensive than softwoods, it promotes fireplace safety and eliminates the worry of buildups after burning wood. The price of hardwood is nothing compared to having the house burnt or a loved one getting an injury, right? Hardwood serves its purpose and at the same time, you get what you actually pay for with it.

Watch out for indoor smoke

If you notice smoke inside your house coming from your fireplace, correct any problems that you find as soon as possible. Indoor smoke poses a big threat to the house. There are a couple of things you can check in this event. Possible causes of smoke are soot or creosote buildup, or debris in your chimney. It could also be that a damper is not open or just partly open, or a wood that isn’t burning completely. Whatever the reason for the indoor smoke is, have it resolved immediately by a professional. Or if you can do it, fix it as soon as you can. Prolonging the damage and leaving it unattended could only cause more damage to your home. These damages won’t go down easy. This may cost you a fortune that could have been prevented by fixing a small problem in the first place.

Contain embers

To promote home fireplace safety while having a wood-burning fireplace, consider installing a stainless steel liner. This would prevent the embers from flying out and landing on something that could easily cause a fire in your house. Take into consideration also the material of the steel bar that you are going to use. It is best to choose a liner that could withstand even the highest temperature. Embers are small and could go unnoticed. But to prevent embers from escaping your fireplace, steel liners or doors are alternatives to keep these embers in their place.

Install doors and blowers

To improve the efficiency of your wood-burning fireplace, consider installing doors and blowers. The door should be a heat-proof glass door to protect against heat loss and keep the embers from flying out of your fireplace. These embers can land on the interiors of your home and can potentially be the source of fire inside your home. Fans or blowers in your fireplace could also be a good installment since these can direct the heat into the room. In this way, the heat is where it should be and there will be no loss of heat. To maintain these accessories in your fireplace, make sure to regularly clean the glass door with a paper towel.

Clean your wood-burning fireplace

It is important to keep your fireplace clean, especially the interior and the floor. Make sure to regularly get rid of the cold ashes in your fireplace. And remember to protect yourself while doing so by wearing a dust mask and gloves. In this way, you can promote home fireplace safety. While you are at it, cleaning your wood-burning fireplace and all, you can also do a chimney inspection on your own. A clean wood-burning fireplace could help you look at it clearly and pinpoint any problems that you observe with your fireplace. 

More Information on Fireplace Maintenance

We hope you learned a lot about fireplace home insurance. Keeping your home safe while enjoying amenities such as a heating system is something that you should not worry about. It is a dream for most homeowners. Know more about maintaining your fireplace and keeping it safe here.

If you are planning on having a fireplace in your home and want to review your home insurance, feel free to contact us today at Team AIS here in Denver, CO. We won’t disappoint!

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