Factory-Built Fireplaces and Their Care

by | Prefab Chimney Maintenance

When you’re building or remodeling a home you don’t have to stick with a traditional fireplace. If you’re unable to install a traditional masonry fireplace with adequate foundation, there are other options available. Factory-built fireplaces offer a variety of designs as well as freedom of placement because they’re lighter and don’t require a foundation for support. By choosing a factory-built fireplace you can enjoy a beautiful fireplace for a fraction of the time and cost of a masonry chimney installation.

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Your Prefab Fireplace

Your prefabricated or factory-built fireplace can match most home designs and can be installed in any location because of it’s lightweight design and refractory walls. Although you have the freedom to choose it’s location, you cannot use just any chimney for a factory-built fireplace. Each prefab fireplace is fitted with a chimney that has been tested with the fireplace and they’re engineered to work safely and efficiently as one unit.

Remember Professional Maintenance

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  installation of the unit is critical for safe operation as well as efficiency and longevity. It’s also vitally important to schedule regular chimney sweeps as well as annual chimney inspections. It’s at these appointments that a certified chimney sweep will notice problems with your prefab fireplace and chimney. Catching any problems early will save you money and problems later.

What You Can Do

While keeping up with your routine maintenance with a professional chimney sweep, there are also things you can do to keep your fireplace and chimney in tip-top shape.

  1.  Keep the damper fully open from the start of the fire until it is completely out.
  2. Avoid overloading the fireplace, which can burn too hot or cause logs to roll out.
  3. Only burn properly seasoned wood in your fireplace. Avoid burning paper products, trash, and any other household items.
  4.  Never use liquid fuel to light a fire in your fireplace. If you have trouble lighting your fire, consider trying a top-down fire.
  5. Close the screen to prevent sparks from flying out of the fireplace. The glass doors are not to be closed until the fire is almost out.
  6.  Do not change appliances or install a wood-burning stove or insert into a factory-built fireplace. The chimney is designed for your specific fireplace. You should have a professional inspect your chimney system if you make changes.
  7.  Empty ashes from the firebox regularly to avoid buildup and foul odors. Excessive ash in the firebox can cause logs to roll out. Since prefab fireplaces aren’t designed to burn all the time, a buildup of ashes can cause the fireplace to smell of ashes when it isn’t lit.
  8.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions, which should be given to you upon installation.
  9. Check the firebox for damage periodically. Cracks in the refractory walls need to be assessed by a professional.

No amount of maintenance can replace professional expertise. Hudson Chimney is trained and experienced in installing, servicing, and replacing factory-built fireplaces in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Call 904-282-4159 and speak to a Hudson Chimney technician today.