While you can certainly use your outdoor heating feature during the winter, you might not spend as much time outdoors now as you did in the summer (unless you love the cold!)
With anticipated winter weather and freezing temperatures in the coming months, it’s best to take time to perform maintenance on your fireplace or fire pit. Here are five tips you can tap into now to increase the longevity and luxury of your outdoor heating features.
#1 Turn Off The Power
Whether it’s for winter storage or a long-term stay in your shed, turning off your gas line or power supply is prudent for the safety and longevity of your outdoor heating feature.
If it is a gas line and it is hard-piped, there will be a valve with a handle on it. To turn it off, the handle will need to be turned perpendicular to the pipe. If it is a keyed valve, you will need the key to turn it off, so make sure to have it in a safe and easily accessible spot. If your gas comes from a tank, turn the valve off at the top of the tank, usually by turning it clockwise.
If your heating element is electric, either unplug the device from your outlet or turn it off on the circuit breaker.
#2 Give It A Good Clean Inside
Before the next steps, you will want to make sure your outdoor heating feature is clean and free of debris. Remove any soot and build-up, as well as anything that has been stuck such as moisture and leaves. If it is wood-burning, remove the ashes and soot. Make sure it is thoroughly dry before re-assembling.
For masonry fire pits, the residue can be cleaned using a solution of one part muriatic acid to nine parts water to scrub the interior. Once clean, rinse with water and allow to dry up to 72 hours before use.
#3 Be Proactive About Rust and Cracks
To give your outdoor heating features even more longevity, keep an eye on the unit for rust and cracks. Remove rust spots based on the manufacturer’s instructions, which could include a little sandpaper or wire brush to keep it from spreading. Seal any cracks in the base to prevent further damage. If it is close to the pipeline, have a professional check for safety before proceeding.
#4 Keep It Covered
Covering is key to preventing rust, cracks, and other damage from debris, pooling water, and critters. It might be an additional, optional cost but it is well worth it for the lifetime of your unit. We know the snow will be coming, and added moisture can add to all the issues that can ultimately break your feature.
#5 Store Your Pit If Possible
We understand that many fire pits and outdoor heating features are built to handle the year-round elements. However, if your pit is portable, store it in a garage, basement, or shed during extended periods when not in use. This not only can make it easier to clean but also avoid any long-term damage from what we mentioned previously.
We’ve Got Outdoor Heating Feature Accessories!
We have covers and maintenance items for all your outdoor heating units. To purchase your covers and get tips for cleaning, contact us online or visit AES Hearth & Patio at our Newville, PA or Camp Hill, PA location!