They are safe, quick, easy to use, and minimize or eliminate the need to prepare kindling. They are a great replacement for crumpled up newspaper which can flare up and send burning bits of paper up and out the chimney. Those bits of paper sucked up the chimney can also clog catalytic combustors (in some woodstoves) and clog chimney cap spark screens.
Yes, the investment is minimal; a brush matched to the size and shape (round/square/rectangular)of your chimney, and one or more flexible rods that screw onto to the brush. Our staff can give you instructions and tips to do it yourself. Even if you clean your own chimney, we recommend a periodic cleaning by a chimney sweep professional. In addition to the cleaning they will give your chimney an important safety inspection to help keep it in tip top shape.
They serve an important safety function, keeping burning embers in the fireplace and from popping out onto floors and nearby objects.
Ashes, even from an apparently dead fire, can contain hot burning embers for up to 48 hours. A proper ash bucket is the safe way to handle ashes. A tight fitting lid keeps the ashes from drifting out when the bucket is moved and the raised bottom keeps the possibly hot ashes from coming in contact with whatever the ash bucket is sitting on.
A fireplace grate serves several important functions. It allows embers to drop down below the logs so the coals can continue to burn and provide heat. The grate also allows air flow to the logs so they can burn more completely. High efficiency woodstoves are designed differently and do not require the use of a fireplace grate.
A gas fireplace does not really need one, but a nice toolset on the hearth next to a gas fireplace adds to the ambiance and illusion of a wood fire.
• Wood burning - Since most household cleansers are grease based cleaners, they don't work on the creosote that accumulates on a wood stove or fireplace door. A product such as Rutland's Glass Cleaner is specifically designed to dissolve the material that collects on the glass from woodburning. Just gently rub on and wipe off with a clean rag.
• Gas - The whitish haze on the glass is a by-product of gas burning and also requires a specific cleaner such as the Rutland Glass Cleaner.
TIP: Never use any type of abrasive cleanser on your glass. It leaves minute scratches that collect the creosote and become almost impossible to clean.