Fireplace Maintenance

Always be sure the damper is fully open before starting a fire in the fireplace. It can, and should be closed during non-use to avoid conditioned air loss.

Gas Starters

When you have a gas starter, first arrange your logs and open the fresh air vent, if applicable, then start a small fire with newspaper before attempting to turn on the gas starter. Once the wood is sufficiently burning, you can turn off the starter. Do not leave the valve key in the valve to avoid unintentional gas leaks.

Glass Doors

Where provided be sure they are open while a fire is burning intensely. They can be closed when the fire has burned down and you are ready to leave the room. When glass doors are open, the metal mesh should be extended over the opening to prevent burning debris from entering the room. When you close the glass doors be sure top open the mesh so that it does not have excessive heat build up which might warp or discolor it.

Wood Fires

Wood fires should be steady slow burning and clean. Fires too hot can and will cause damage to the fireplace and masonry elevations. Start the fire with kindling and paper under the grate and three or four logs stacked on the grate. A piece of newspaper should be used to heat and draw the flue before the fire is lit, otherwise the smoke from the logs will seep into the home and discolor the mantel and walls. Never burn pine or other soft woods, only hard woods. Allow spacing between the logs for air circulation. Any log over 6″ in diameter should be split.


Old ashes and coals should be removed from under the grate when completely cool.

Chimney and Spark Arrester Cleaning

Based on your fireplace use, we recommend chimney’s and spark arresters be cleaned by a professional on an annual basis. Soft woods or poorly seasoned logs may require more frequent cleaning. Failure to clean can lead to residue build up and a potential fire hazard.


Under no circumstances should trash, debris, manufactured or pine logs be burnt in the fireplace. Additionally, never use any type of liquid fire starter.

Direct Vent

Design Tech Homes offers both switched and remote control direct vent fireplaces. Flames should ignite gently and silently after a slight delay from the switch being activated. The exhaust vent for your fireplace located outside of the home will become very hot, so avoid contact with it while the unit is in operation. These are gas units and the unit will emit a slight smell of gas if you notice a change or strengthening of this smell, immediately turn off the fireplace and notify Design Tech Homes.