6:04 pm - 46 degrees - foggy, raining...
Sunday was the last day of dry weather before the rain came, and with it more cold temperatures. Even though we've already had a week of cold temps, Tony didn't want to use the fireplace until we had had a good day of rain. Everything has been too dry and the fire danger lever has been too high to take any chances.
We heat our home with a wood stove from roughly around September until May. This ends up being one long continuous burning season.
Having a wood burning fireplace definitely has its ups and downs. The warm glow of a fireplace is one of nature’s simple gifts... if you can ignore the mess and hassle that come with their daily operation.
Though creosote inevitably builds up over time inside the chimney and chimney cap which can become a very serious fire hazard, by using only properly split and seasoned firewood, you can slow the creosote accumulation. If at all possible, try to steer clear of the slow, smoky, smoldering fires; these tend to create creosote rather quickly. Clean, hot burning fires are the ones that generate the least amount of creosote.
There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to how often you should clean out your chimney. We just happen to do it at the end of every summer, right before the cold season hits - Tony climbs up our steep metal roof to clean out the chimney and chimney cap (which is 34 feet up in the air) - something that we feel MUST be done before we can safely use the fireplace.