Fireplace Maintenance Tools: Pragmatic and Decorative.

Ventless Gas Log Fireplace Fire Shapes.

Ventless gas log fire shape fireplace does not allow the ceramic shapes to touch the flames allowing a clean safe burning fireplace without ventilation and  very little mess.  A tool set for this contemporary design would only serve to accent the mod
Ventless gas log fire shape fireplace does not allow the ceramic shapes to touch the flames allowing a clean safe burning fireplace without ventilation and very little mess. A tool set for this contemporary design would only serve to accent the mod

Enjoy your fireplace but understand it also.

Do you understand proper care and maintenance of a fireplace? If you have a gas log or electric fireplace this is not a problem; but if you have a wood burning traditional fireplace there is much to learn. From where to find wood, how to start a fire and cleaning creosote from your hearth’s flue there can be a lot to understand owning a fireplace. Of course, it is entirely worth it for the beauty, smell and natural heat of a wood-burning fireplace but a learning curve is required. You may know how to use fireplace tools or maybe just let them decorate a mantle but do you know what you need to ensure you are maintaining and using your fireplace correctly? In this discussion we take a closer look at the types of fireplace tools available so you have a safer and more efficient fireplace.

Fireplace Tools.

Fireplace tool set for functional use and a rustic decor.
Fireplace tool set for functional use and a rustic decor.
Fireplace free-standing screen includes fireplace tools in the design.
Fireplace free-standing screen includes fireplace tools in the design.

If you have been anywhere near a fireplace or seen them on TV you know that there are a handful of tools that come as a part of a fireplace tool set.  Fireplace tools come in a variety of decorations and materials. Some fireplace tools are really used and some are decoration.  In the case of wood burning fireplaces these tools should be used but for gas and electric, they are there to imitate the real wood burning fireplace function -- usually.

Basic Fireplace Tools.

First off, you may be wondering, what are the most basic fireplace tools and what purpose do they serve for my fire and fireplace? There are four basic implements used to keep a fire safe, clean and efficient. These are the poker, shovel, broom, and tongs. The poker helps the user to move logs and paper while burning.  A Poker can reposition items in the fire for optimum burning. The shovel is used to scoop up ashes left behind a fire.  Ashes, if left to pile up could cause a fire by hiding hot embers and really dust a room.  The broom is a small broom used to brush out the fire ashes and the tongs are used to pick up and move logs in a burning fire for removal or repositioning. While all of these tools are significant, if a person does not use their fireplace often it is not essential that they have all of them. These four usually come in a fireplace tool set, but those using their fireplace only occasionally can buy the poker and shovel piecemeal.

Fireplace Tools.

Flat black steel with decorative resin wicker.
Flat black steel with decorative resin wicker.
Iron fireplace tool set with brushed stainless steel accent.
Iron fireplace tool set with brushed stainless steel accent.

Advanced Hearth Cleaning for the Fireplace.

If you will use your wood-burning fireplace often, it’s advised that you purchase not just the poker and shovel but perhaps, a larger shovel and broom because more fireplace use creates more ash. Moreover, you may want to consider something called an ash vacuum which does the job of the broom and shovel a lot quicker and more conveniently. Lastly, aside from yearly chimney cleaning and maintenance from a licensed chimney sweep, you should routinely check your chimney and chimney termination cap for debris such as bird nests and sticks. Also clean the flue with creosote cleaner to maximize safety and efficiency by burning a cleansing brick in the fireplace that will treat the flue.  

Creosote builds up as flames create carbon.  Burning wood does this but gas will also create carbon where ever the flames touch a ceramic log.  The carbon build-up will turn the inside of the fireplace, logs and vent a dark black that is easy to wipe away on non-porous surfaces.  Fortunately, the steel flue is not very porous and wiping r burning away creosote is easy.  Unfortunately ceramic logs are pouros and after several gas log fireplace burns, carbon deposits will become visible.  Usually the ceramic logs are manufactured with carbon creation in mind and the darkness will blend into the contrast of the gas logs themselves.

Vented and Ventless Gas Log Fireplaces.

Ventless gas log fireplace designs have specific patterned logs to minimize carbon build up.  Even with the safety precautions and lower BTU necessary for vent free gas logs, a Birch design like this one will need to be cleaned often.
Ventless gas log fireplace designs have specific patterned logs to minimize carbon build up. Even with the safety precautions and lower BTU necessary for vent free gas logs, a Birch design like this one will need to be cleaned often.
Vented gas log fireplace logs can be stacked and way that makes the best flame pattern because ventilation will pull any fumes out of the area.  Although carbon and creosote is not minimized the hand painted logs will hide discoloration from the flam
Vented gas log fireplace logs can be stacked and way that makes the best flame pattern because ventilation will pull any fumes out of the area. Although carbon and creosote is not minimized the hand painted logs will hide discoloration from the flam

Fireplace Tool Material: Decorative and Functional?

When it comes to the aesthetic of your fireplace tools, you’ll want to consider how important the material is to the form and function of your fireplace. Brass usually serves the customer looking for the more formal aesthetic and may not be as heavy as iron. Iron is more rustic and goal-oriented. What you opt for really depends on what your priorities are, and how much style and quality is prioritized in your goals.

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Tell Us About Your Fireplace or Fire Pit. 2 comments

sbyholm profile image

sbyholm 6 years ago from Finland

I have tried an ash vacuum and it didn't work at all. It was handy all right but the filter got clogged when half way through and washing the filter is a lot of extra work.

I could add that this was the filter and bucket thing that you connect to the normal vacuum cleaner.

So now I'm back to shovel and bucket. And I use a normal vacuum to remove the ash that fumes up into the air while working, this way I save the living room from getting all gray.


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida Author

I use a shovel and bucket but I procrastinate until there is so much ash I have to be really careful to move slow. Ash can spread through the house so easily!

i could use the vacuum if i cleaned up every time but i'd sooner fly.

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