Having a fireplace in your house can be a real blessing, especially during the winter season. Not only is it appealing to the eye but also helps you relax after spending a long day at work. But what if you try to fire up your fireplace and it simply won’t light? Time for fireplace and chimney inspection? We are going to share some tips that will help you troubleshoot the issue. Let’s begin!
The Wood Isn’t Seasoned
If you are using wood for your fireplace, you need to make sure it is seasoned or dry. If the wood contains moisture, you will have trouble firing up the fireplace. The moisture will simply not allow the fireplace to get hot enough.
And if the fire is not hot enough, the fireplace won’t produce warm enough air in the chimney to keep your house warm. In addition to that, burning moist wood will produce a lot of smoke as a result as well. This smoke can enter your house and lead to chronic health problems if inhaled.
Therefore, only opt for seasoned wood and if the wood you have purchased is moist, keep it in the sun for a few days until it dries out completely.
The Damper Does Not Fully Open
The chimney of your fireplace relies heavily on the damper as it is the plate or valve that stops or regulates the flow of air inside the chimney. If the damper happens to be closed, it will restrict the airflow.
That said, sometimes the problem could be as easy as you forgetting to open the fireplace damper. This is a common issue for homeowners. However, while that is one thing, it could also be that the damper isn’t big enough. And the same goes for a partially closed damper as well.
It might be that the damper has rust or normal wear and tear, which is not allowing it to work properly. You should make sure that it is free of soot buildup as well. Whatever the reason may be, your damper must be included in the regular inspections of your chimney.
The Pilot Light Is Out
Another common reason for gas fireplaces not firing up is the pilot light going out. It usually happens due to a sudden downdraft or by the wind. In such a case, all you need to do is turn the pilot light on. The pilot light is controlled by a knob by turning it counterclockwise. Otherwise, you will need to consult the user’s manual. It might be that the button or the knob to turn on the pilot light is located somewhere else.
The Gas Valve Is Blocked
If you have a fireplace that runs on gas, you should know it comes with a thermocouple as well. It helps ignite the pilot light. However, the problem is that it is very tiny and it can be blocked by debris or dust particles. Therefore, you should clean the woods with a microfiber cloth and try again. If that does not work out, you will need to call in a professional.
The Chimney Draft Is Poor
As mentioned earlier, your chimney relies heavily on the airflow in your house to work effectively. Therefore, if there isn’t enough draft in your chimney, your fireplace will fail to fire up. Chimney draft problems are mostly caused due to animal nests, branches, no chimney cap, clogged openings, etc.
In addition to that, it might also be that the chimney is simply very short. If that is the case, the wind will blow right back into the chimney putting out the fire. Make sure your chimney is at least 3 feet above your roof and 2 feet higher than anything that is within 10 feet of it.
The Chimney And Fireplace Need Cleaning
If the fireplace doesn’t turn on properly, it’s a sign that the fireplace and the chimney have creosote and soot buildup. You should consider chimney cleaning.
Although a fireplace does a good job of keeping your house warm and cozy, some problems can make it irritating. However, the good news is that fixing the majority of the issues is both easy and affordable. Try following the troubleshooting tips highlighted above or simply consult chimney contractors Columbia MD to get your fireplace running normally again.