Fireplace Accessories

Written by Charles Peacock
Bookmark and Share

Fireplaces are almost a requirement if you want to have a truly cozy home. For people who are in the home buying market, it's not at all unusual for a decision to hinge on whether or not a particular house has a fireplace. Whenever I go into a home and see an unused fireplace, I consider it a sort of travesty--and I always exhort the owners to put it to better use.

Fireplaces are great for cold nights and long winter evenings, no matter where you live. My neighborhood in Southern California is a veritable fireplace hotbed, despite the relatively mild climate. People here--and across the country--are smart enough to know that having a fireplace in the house can really cheer the spirits and make you feel more at home.

Maintaining Your Fireplace

The uninformed homeowner will look at a fireplace and see just another thing that needs constant maintenance. In reality, keeping your fireplace in good condition doesn't take much time, and isn't prohibitively expensive. When you look at the amount of money you can save on heating bills by regularly putting your fireplace to work, you realize that it's an efficient, cost-effective way to go.

The most important step in maintaining a fireplace is keeping the chimney and the fireplace itself clean. Chimneys generally need to be cleaned once a year at most--more often once every few years. This is best handled by a professional chimney sweep (yes, they still exist), although you can do it yourself if you're feeling brave and you've got the right cleaning tools.

There are tons of accessories out there to help you keep the fireplace itself clean. A nice set of fireplace tools always comes in handy, and should always contain at least a small shovel and a brush. Spend a few minutes every once in a while scooping the ashes out of your fireplace and dumping them in a paper bag for disposal. (Just make sure they're not still hot!)

Other Types of Fireplace Accessories

It used to be that fireplaces all looked relatively the same and all worked on the same principle: burning wood. With the advent of gas-fueled fireplaces and pre-fab fireplace designs, things have changed substantially. The types of accessories you'll need for your fireplace depend first and foremost on which type of fireplace you have.

If you have a traditional wood-burning fireplace, traditional accessories will more than do the trick. In addition to the trusty fireplace toolset, it's always handy to have a sliding screen in front of the fireplace to keep ashes and sparks from falling out. Log racks are also a great idea, so you can keep a few logs on hand and avoid having to trek outside constantly for a fresh supply.

Gas-powered fireplaces usually require quite a bit less maintenance, so there aren't as many accessories for this type of fireplace. Still, you can find things like fireplace popcorn poppers, grills and kettles that are made for your gas-powered fireplace. Accessories like these will help you get the most out of your fireplace, and will only increase your enjoyment level.


Bookmark and Share