Cooler weather means we can start using our fireplaces. First, it's crucial to take advantage of the fall temps and get your chimneys cleaned and inspected, especially if you have a wood-burning fireplace.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, chimneys are mostly to blame for house fires with home heating appliances. The cause of chimney fires is when the creosote, a sticky and highly flammable smoke by-product that clings to the inside, catches fire.

Chimney Cleaning Experts recommend that you inspect and clean your chimney annually. Here are two main reasons to do this before winter:

    • Winter is the busiest time of the year for chimney cleaning companies. It may be weeks before they can work you in. That means you won't be able to enjoy your fireplace, or you will run a serious risk of burning your house by running a potentially dangerous system.
    •  It's impossible to know if your fireplace and chimneys are damaged until you professionally inspect them. This is especially true for older systems or those that haven't been cleaned or inspected for a while.

Do you know when to buy firewood in Louisiana? Now, believe it or not, it is not a good time. That is because Louisiana has a humid climate, and all firewood needs to be seasoned for six months. This means the moisture content in the firewood from Louisiana needs time to evaporate to 20% or less.


Why does this matter? When firewood isn't dried correctly, it doesn't burn efficiently. This can cause problems. Your fire will be very smokey, the wood will pop while burning, and the smoke build-up, as explained earlier, will stick to the lining of your chimney, which is a significant fire hazard. The drier the firewood, the cleaner it will burn, the less residue is left in your fireplace, the better it is for the environment and the air we breathe.

After you buy firewood, depending on how much you get, there are some dos and don'ts on the best way to store it. For that info, check the videos below. Be safe this winter, and enjoy those fireplaces!

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale

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