The late fall and winter seasons are the perfect time to gather family and friends inside to enjoy the warmth of your hearth- and the warmth of each other’s company. In addition to a few extra steps, like storing firewood outside and trimming tree branches away from your chimney, these tips are highly recommended to make sure that your fireplace is safe and fun for your family to enjoy.
1 – Clean out the Firebox Regularly
As a safety measure (but also as a way of keeping the area around the fireplace cleaner) make sure that you remove the ashes from inside the firebox on a regular basis (weekly is ideal). If you use your fireplace often, you’ll need to clean it often as well (once the ash reaches three inches deep or so).
2 – Chimney Cap
Even though a chimney cap is a tiny installation, many homeowners wonder if it is necessary. Rest assured, for a small piece of equipment; a chimney cap does a huge job, preventing loads of potential damage.
Animals will sense warmth in the winter coming from your chimney, making it an excellent nesting spot. These nests can cause dangerous build-up below when fires are burning. It’s also a real barrier for flying embers, which could easily spark low-lying branches.
3 – Keep your Hearth Clean
With soot and other debris a constant presence with your fireplace, it is important to maintain the hearth, to keep it looking good and to prevent damage. Clean the soot off with a wet cloth. After the surface has dried, shine it up with a small amount of lemon oil. It makes it glow and seals it as well.
4 – Clean the Chimney
Every year, call in the chimney sweep to do a full cleaning of your chimney, and it’s components to make sure everything is in working order. Build-up and residue can cause smoke and be hazardous. The chimney sweep will make sure the damper and flue are not damaged as well. They also check for leaks and cracks in the structure. Even if you don’t use your chimney often, get it cleaned and checked.
5 – Crack the Window
Don’t let a smoky fire deter you from using your fireplace. A simple solution is that there is insufficient air in the room itself. Letting a little air in from outside can create the cross-ventilation needed to reduce the smoke. The extra oxygen can help the fire burn brightly as well.
Christian Brothers Plumbing in Glendale, AZ always have time to share home maintenance tips with our clients. Give us a call today at (623) 201-5066 to learn more.
During November, many families in the United States begin to prepare for Thanksgiving Day by buying special foods to cook for their tasty holiday recipes. However, there are numerous hungry and homeless individuals who need help during this time of year. Our company understands that our community’s organizations are struggling to provide the basic necessities to the homeless, and here are a few ways for you to provide assistance to those who are in need during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which takes place November 12-20th.
1: Donating Toiletries, Household Items and Clothing
We should try to help out the homeless by cleaning out our closets and getting rid of household items, clothing and toiletries we don’t need. Some of the things that a homeless individual might need include:
Besides giving away used clothing or household goods, we can buy low-cost toiletries for the homeless to make their lives better and to help them find work.
2: Volunteer at a Nearby Homeless Shelter
The temperature often starts to drop in November, and many of the homeless individuals in your area need a place to stay. The homeless shelters require additional volunteers at this time of year to provide vital services. By offering a few hours of help to the homeless this month, you will be making a difference.
3: Help a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen
Many families during this time of year must decide whether they are going to spend their income on heating a home or buying food (assuming they cannot afford both). In order to survive, they will visit a food bank to receive canned or packaged foods to prepare at home. Alternatively, they might need to go to a soup kitchen to have a nutritious hot meal. Luckily, most soup kitchens and food banks will accept fresh vegetables, so you can donate produce and canned goods to help the hungry or homeless.
4: Donate Food to a Thanksgiving Food Drive
Local organizations and churches in the Arizona area organize a Thanksgiving Day food drive to ensure people will have enough ingredients to make a nice dinner. You could help out by donating these types of foods:
Cans of fruit and vegetables
Boxes of mashed potatoes or stuffing
Loaves of fresh bread
Bags of potatoes
Cans of chicken or turkey
Boxes of noodles
For additional suggestions when helping the hungry or homeless in Glendale, AZ, contact Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical at (623) 201-5066.