“Closing time.”

Those are two words revelers don’t want to hear when they are in the midst of merry-making. However, in the same circumstances, “closing time” may be music to the ears of wait staff at the place trying to close.

Even though your fireplace and chimney are still getting a good workout, it’s not too early to think about their closing time. Since we at Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney know what is needed to open or close or maintain a fireplace and chimney, we are pleased to share the wisdom we’ve accumulated over the years.

As with many things, there are practical things you can do yourself, and there are other things best left to professionals like Old Smokey’s. This holds true for closing out your fireplace and chimney for the season.

First of all, let’s state the obvious:

Shut down the fire, let the embers cool, and don’t start any more new fires. Once you are done for the season, stick to your decision.

What next? You can do some of the required cleanup work yourself. Once those embers have become stone-cold and safely disposed of, you can remove soot or ash from the bottom of the fireplace by using an industrial vacuum cleaner. As for the chimney, have a certified chimney sweep properly remove soot and creosote that has built up over the winter and its many hours of fire burning. By the time spring weather arrives, it is time to remove deposits in the chimney. You don’t want them to emit unpleasant odors.

When you hire a professional chimney sweep like Old Smokey’s, ask for an overall inspection. Have us inspect for residue buildup and assess all the chimney components for cracks and leaks. This includes inspecting your flashing, the chimney cap, the chimney lining, and the damper. While we’re at it, we’ll make sure no critters, dead or alive, are in any part of the chimney system.

Be sure to close your damper. When your fireplace goes unused for any significant duration, close the damper. Doing so prevents air and odors from entering or exiting the house.

What else?

If you have a gas fireplace, turn off the pilot light when you are done for the season. This will save on energy use and cost. If you’re unsure or skittish about how to do this, we’ll be glad to do it for you.

These simple and sensible steps will protect your home and make things that much easier in the next burning season.

Maybe you have some tips of your own to share! We’re always glad to hear from customers.

For more than 20 years, Old Smokey’s has served homeowners in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan. We serve folks from Elkhart in the west to Ypsilanti in the east, from Lansing in the north to Defiance and Fort Wayne in the south.

Old Smokey’s highly trained technicians are CSIA-certified, assuring that we have the skills and tools to inspect and service your chimney according to the strictest standards and practices.

Call us at 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 or schedule an appointment online.

Even though spring is not quite here, bookmark this reminder for later reference.