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  • How to deep clean your fireplace (and improve indoor air quality)

    Nothing says “the holidays” like a warm, crackling fireplace—but cozy fires can invite unwanted air pollutants into your home. Luckily, you don’t have to stop enjoying your fireplace. Here are some tips for deep cleaning your fireplace and keeping your home’s air fresh.

    There’s no better place to spend the holidays than next to a cozy fireplace—but that can mean a lot of cleanup if you want to keep the air in your home fresh. Using your fireplace can increase indoor air pollution, even if the flue is open and fully functional.1 Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your fireplace altogether. Certain interventions can reduce the level of indoor air pollution a cozy, crackling fire releases in your home.

    • Remove fireplace soot and debris

      Begin by removing the andirons and grate from your fireplace. Scrub them with dish soap and warm water, then set them aside. Take out any leftover wood and sweep up the piles of ashes and debris at the bottom of the fireplace.

      Scrub the walls

      Now, it’s time to scrub the walls. Using a dry brush, start from the top and work your way down. Sweep up the excess dust with a broom, then use a vacuum to remove the rest.

      Use a cleaning solution

      Next, you’ll need to make a cleaning solution. A basic fireplace cleaning solution consists of:
      - 1 gallon of warm water
      - ¼ cup of heavy-duty fireplace cleaner
      - Dish soap

      For deeper stains, you’ll want to use a tougher solution:
      - 1 gallon of warm water
      - 6 tablespoons of sodium triphosphate
      - 1 cup of bleach

      Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from the harsh chemicals. Using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the walls again—this time with your cleaning solution. Work from the top down and repeat.

      Rinse and let dry

      After the inside of the fireplace is thoroughly cleaned, rinse it with clean water. Let it dry and replace the grate and andirons.

      Clean up the air

      Cleaning out the dirt and debris from your fireplace is only the first step. You’ll also need to clean up the air in your home, as burning wood leaves behind fine particles that decrease air quality.1

      Burning wood may leave behind particles that can worsen your indoor air quality, but research shows that air purifiers equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can lower PM 2.5 and smoke levels in wood-heated homes.2

      Filtrete™ Smart Air Purifiers can help. Available in a variety of sizes, these air purifiers can be controlled from your Filtrete™ Smart App, so you can switch it on from anywhere. The device even features a light that indicates the air quality in your home: It changes from green to yellow, orange, red or purple, so you’ll always know how your wood-burning fireplace is affecting your air quality.

      Each device is equipped with a True HEPA filter that’s able to catch 99.97% of unwanted airborne particles.* Plus, you never have to worry about remembering to change your filter. Using the Filtrete Smart App, you can view the percentage of filter life remaining and receive notifications when it’s time to replace it.

      After scrubbing your fireplace and running your air purifier, you can breathe easy knowing the air inside your home is fresher than before.

      *As small as 0.3 microns, from the air passing through the filter media. Initial efficiency value.

      Sources

       1. CDC.gov: Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke

       2. ScienceDirect.com: Reducing indoor air pollutants with air filtration units in wood stove homes

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