Did you know that you can add to the value of your home if it has a fireplace? We’re seeing estimates of up to 13% more for homes with fireplaces than the national median sales price.
We were speaking with a Utica resident the other day about fireplaces. When he and his wife were looking for a home to buy, it was the fireplace in the large living room that sold them. It was in the middle of a long room with bookshelves on either side, a large window looking onto the backyard, and two front windows.
The fireplace drew their eye and reminded them of the warm, cozy family moments they’d share in that room. In front of the fire, of course. Over the years, they’ve averaged six face cords of wood every winter!
And now, with energy at a premium and the government helping citizens cut their use of fossil fuels, there are some terrific tax credits available on qualifying new wood and pellet stoves and inserts.
Effective January 1, 2023, highly efficient wood or pellet stoves or larger biomass heating systems may be eligible to claim a 30% tax credit. There is an annual cap of $2,000 but the credit does run through December 31, 2032.
This is good news for homeowners who are thinking about upgrading their fireplaces. So to maintain your family get together without the tragedy of an out of control fire, we offer the following fireplace safety tips.
- Use seasoned wood only. That includes both hard and soft woods.
- Inspect gaskets, door seals, and the chimney annually.
- Get a chimney sweep to clean the chimney of obstructions and creosote every year before the heating season.
- Install a cap at the top of the chimney so debris or even an animal doesn’t block it.
- Make sure you have installed working smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
- Keep the area around the fireplace clear of furniture, books, magazines, or other flammable materials.
- Keep about 1 inch of ash at the bottom of the fireplace.
- Dispose of your wood ash properly. Don’t worry, it can be put to good use as compost, to keep people from slipping on sidewalk ice, and more.
- Never burn garbage, rolled newspaper, charcoal, plastic, or chemically-treated or painted wood in the fireplace.
- Never leave a fire unattended and be sure it’s completely out before going to bed.
Accidents can happen and you are covered on your homeowners insurance policy for fire. So give us a call if you’re worried about enough coverage on your home. We’ll go over a replacement cost estimator to be sure the insurance amount is adequate.
If we don’t have your home insurance, we’ll give you a quote on the right amount at the best price.
So enjoy the warm, crackling fire as you watch TV, read, or enjoy a round of conversation with family and friends. Oh, yeah, and save on your heating bill with today’s modern, efficient fireplaces, inserts, and wood stoves.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.