10 Top Tips for Chiminea Care
Why Spend Time Looking After your Chiminea?
Although chimineas are relatively simple-looking devices, they do require a certain level of tender loving care to keep them in perfect working condition.
A well-maintained chiminea can be an asset to your garden or patio for years to come.
Here are our 10 tips on how to care for your chiminea
Your chiminea is effectively an outdoor fireplace, and although they appear to be durable, they need to be looked after. Doing your research in advance before you even think of buying one can save you a significant amount of time, money, and headaches in the future.
By simply following a few simple guidelines you will ensure that the chiminea you purchase will provide you with years of enjoyment.
1 Pick The Right Location
Picking the right place for your chiminea is a good place to start. You need to make sure that where you are going to put your chiminea is the most suitable home for it. A level and flat piece of space with no overhangs and not near anything flammable is essential.
The last thing you want is a heavy object like a chiminea on uneven ground where it can fall over especially if you end up choosing a clay chiminea. Cast iron models may be able to withstand a fall buy traditional clay models will in most cases crack.
Having somewhere away from overhanging trees will also keep your chiminea free from leaves, twigs, and other debris that will otherwise leave you having to take even more care of it.
2 Pick The Right Device
Before you rush out and buy a chiminea you must take a little time researching them to ensure you buy the one that best suits your needs.
Just as an example, cast iron chimineas are much more hard-wearing than clay or terracotta versions. However, they are also prone to rust if left open to the elements and get much hotter.
If you are therefore choosing a cast iron chiminea you need to think more about covering it up from the rain, onwards maintenance if it does rust and of course, the extra safety precautions when around children or animals due to the increased temperature.
3 Understand Not All Chimeneas Are The Same
Just because a chiminea is made from the same material as another doesn’t mean it will perform the same or should be cared for in the same way
You’ll often find chimineas will say that they are made from clay or cast iron or even steel. The problem is that many chimineas are made up of a variety of different components. For example, many cast iron chimineas have parts that are also made of steel. This means that each will perform differently under heat and may need different forms of care to ensure they last a long time.
Always look at the materials used in your chiminea and then use the most appropriate method for looking after them.
4 Follow The Manufacturer’s Instructions
Whether you’re a first-time chiminea owner or you have owned a number of different types, always read the manufacturer’s instructions before you start assembling it.
Most should come with some form of instructions but if not, then try and find them online. Reading the instructions can save you a lot of time and heartache in the long run.
Once you’ve assembled your chiminea, take another look at the instructions before you light it. There could be something in them that you haven’t seen before or that has changed since you last owned one. Think – Do you really want to break your chiminea the first time you use it just for not reading the instructions once more?
5 Add A Layer of Sealant
As much as you might intend on covering up your chiminea in the event of rain or bad weather, there are bound to be occasions when you either forget or can’t be bothered. It’s therefore important to protect them from excess moisture.
This can easily be done by using a sealant. They design these to add an extra layer of protection to your clay to ensure it becomes waterproof. You should reseal your chiminea every 3 to 6 months depending on how often you use it. Before you add your sealant make sure both the inside and outside surfaces of your chiminea are clean and dry.
The easiest type of sealants tends to be spray varieties as they are the most effective at covering small and hidden gaps.
6 Cure Your Chiminea
Curing your chiminea is probably one of the most important parts of caring for your patio heater. If you read your instructions, they will generally tell you how to do this important process.
There are only a few simple steps whereby you light small fires inside to begin with. We’ve already written a full step-by-step guide on How to cure a chiminea? which you can read by following the link.
7 Regularly Clean Your Chiminea
You should ideally clean your chiminea after every use to ensure it lasts a long time. Now we know that this is highly unlikely but at the very least you should remove any large lumps of debris from within the fire bowl and give the chiminea a quick brush to remove any loose debris.
When you do clean your chiminea remember to remove any sand at the bottom of the fire bowl. We’d suggest you get a cheap sieve for when you do clean your chiminea out. The sand is perfectly reusable and so you can easily sieve out large lumps of debris and then put the sand back into the chiminea bowl once you’ve given it a quick brush.
8 Buy a Chiminea Cover
Even if you keep your chiminea in good working condition and have it correctly sealed, an additional layer of protection from rain, ice, sun or snow will help you maintain it for longer.
Chiminea covers can be bought for as little at £6.95 so why would you not spend the money to make yours last longer. Using a snug-fitting cover will give your device an extra layer of protection and save you maintenance costs and time in the long run.
9 Follow Basic Safety Precautions
Chimineas are not designed to burn like roaring fires with tons of wood and charcoal inside. They are instead supposed to be used for providing warmth. This means having a manageable fire inside without causing too much heat.
Having a chiminea that is burning like a towering inferno or failing to cure your chiminea properly can cause the material it’s made from to fail, crack and of course, set light to its surroundings.
Following these simple safety rules will increase the longevity of your chiminea.
10 Exercise some common sense
Caring for your chiminea involves common sense above all else. If you take nothing else from our list of tips, please ensure the one thing you do when you buy a new chiminea is to read the instructions before you assemble it and before you light it for the first time.
If you follow our 10 Top Tips for Chiminea Care, you should be able to enjoy it for years to come.