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Tips for home fireplace use

Fall has officially arrived meaning cooler weather is right around the corner.
For those lucky enough to have a fireplace in their home, now is the time to prepare them for use.
So, for all lucky South Mississippi residents who live in a home equipped with these cost effective heat sources, here are a few tips to help keep them a safe and money saving way to keep your home comfortable.
By keeping the chimney clean you prevent the possibility of a fire due to soot and creosote buildup.
Burning hard woods in the fireplace, such as oak, maple or birch will help keep those substances from accumulating. Stay away from burning pine in a fireplace, no matter how available it is.
This advice is based on the fact that softer woods such as pine contain sap, which can clog a fireplace and eventually become a fire hazard.
Before lighting your first fire of the season, be sure to open the damper; no one wants a house full of smoke.
If the damper is open and smoke still enters the house, the chimney may be clogged.
Adding heat resistant glass doors to the front of the fireplace will help keep the embers inside the fireplace. If the glass doors stay closed then you may consider adding a heat resistant metal grate complete with a fan system to push the heat into your living space.
I’ve seen a homemade version that employed hollow pipe that acts as the grate on which the wood burned attached to a fan.
As the wood burned on the grate it heated the pipe, so the air pushed through the pipe was hot enough to heat a large portion of the home.
Any good welder could build such a device, or there are many variations for sale in the retail market.
Happy wood burning.