The mornings are a little darker, days are getting chillier and South Africans around the country are bracing for it - winter is coming!

As global warming sends the planet into a tailspin, it's very evident that South African winters are getting colder. It's no secret that our homes are not built for these newly freezing temperatures, so more people are turning to purchasing fireplaces to see them through the chilly seasons. 

However, there are a few things you should know before buying a fireplace.

1. You'll need to call an installer

As much as you'd love to fire up your new fireplace right away, you must have a professional installer come to your home to install it. In fact, if you're installing a gas fireplace you're required by law to have a certified installer do the job. Therefore, it's important to budget for these additional costs.

We have a comprehensive list of independent installers per region, who are familiar with all our Megamaster Products. Feel free to contact them before making your purchase and ask them any questions you may have. 

Megamaster Bosca Gold Burgundy

2. Flue Pipes

A toasty warm fire is great and can heat up a room unlike anything else. However, where does all that smoke go? It's important to remember that when you purchase your freestanding fireplace, you need to find the right sized flue pipe that goes with it - this is also an additional cost.

Depending on the height and trajectory of your chimney, we have several pre-cut angles and straight flue pipes available to suit your ceiling and Megamaster fireplace.  

It's important to contact an installer beforehand so that you can be sure to buy the right one.  

3. Maintenance

As you enjoy the pleasures of radiating heat from your fireplace, it's important to remember that it reaches scorching temperatures, which ultimately has an effect on the structure and most notably paint of the unit. 

So, as the warmer seasons come back and you use your fireplace less, the effects of use will start to show. Be sure not to turn a blind eye to these factors of maintenance: 

Unit Exterior - If you find your cast iron unit is rusting, it just needs a simple service. However, as each unit differs, they'll have different requirements to restore them, like sanding and covering with special cast-iron 'paint', which can be sourced at any hardware store. 

Interior - Whether you have a charcoal or wood burning fireplace, it's very important to clean it out after every time you make a fire. The build-up of ash and other debris can have long-term effects on your unit and cause problems with your next burn. 

Surrounds - Every unit has a surrounding area that needs to be monitored for heat damage. Be it tiles, wood, cement, or marble, keep an eye out for cracks, smoke marks, or developing weak points, to ensure that you don't run into a bigger problem further down the line. 

Chimney - It's easy for leaves, dust, old ash, and other particles to settle in and around your chute and chimney - not to mention bird's nests. So, after the summer call in a professional to clean out your chimney and chute so you don't smoke yourself out on that first burn.