Here's How Often You Need To Clean Your Fireplace

There's nothing like the warm and comfortable atmosphere that a fireplace can create. Whether you enjoy kicking back with a coffee and a book in front of your gas fireplace or are still dreamily stoking the embers in a wood-burning hearth, a good fireplace can help not only to keep your place warm but also bring a cozy sense of welcome to the heart of your home. However, just like any structure or appliance in your house, regular maintenance and cleaning of your fireplace are key in order to get the most use for your money and to ensure the safety of you and your family (via Petro).

A fireplace — whether it's gas or wood-burning — that has not had any cleaning could result in a harmful buildup of chemicals that can lead to serious damage to your home or your health. For example, in wood-burning fireplaces as the smoke and particles of burning wood rise up your chimney, it can cool to form creosote, which is a dark debris that can either be dry or gunky, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. As if the sound of that icky substance being trapped in your home isn't frightening enough, it can also ruin parts of your fireplace and pose a danger related to quick-catching fires.

With that in mind, you definitely need to know how often you should be cleaning your fireplace. Fortunately, we have that information for you.

Cleaning your fireplace this frequently will keep it efficient and safe

No matter what kind of fireplace you have, it will require some cleaning in order to stay pristine and safe. Even with those low-maintenance electric fireplaces, you'll likely want to do a quick clean with a duster or cloth every once in a while to ensure that there is no buildup of dust particles. However, with wood-burning and gas-burning fireplaces, the Chimney Safety Institute of America urges you to ere on the side of caution. They point to advice from The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211, which explains that you should have all parts of your fireplace checked annually. Following that, perform any needed cleaning and upkeep.

Even if you are not concerned with the build-up of harmful creosote because you don't use your fireplace on a regular basis, it is still a great idea to give your fireplace a cleaning every year. The Spruce notes that other issues such as blockage from animal nests, ash, and other debris may cause a problem the next time you want a relaxing evening by the fire. To that end, it's best to make sure that you are sticking to a regular fireplace cleaning routine.