When cold, winter winds strike, most hope to find themselves inside, cozied up by a warm fireplace. Yet, this idyllic image can only be made a reality if you know how to build a top-notch fire. Study up on these tips so that you can build great fires, not just at Christmas time, but all year round.
Prep The Fireplace
Your fireplace needs to be swept at least once per year in order for you to build safe and effective fires. If it has been out of use for a while, you should have a professional stop in to check things over. A certified sweep will keep an eye out for leaves and other outdoor debris that could cause blockages. Any creosote, animal nesting, and other similar material puts your home and family at an increased risk for house fires, smoke back-up, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
You will also want to make sure the damper is open and the flue is warmed up, so the smoke can efficiently escape. Failure to do either of these could leave you will a very cloudy living room.
Picking The Best Fuel
You will also need to ensure that you have picked out the best wood logs you can find. Did you know that every piece of firewood contains some amount of water? It may seem strange, but it takes a lot time for fresh-cut wood to dry out! The goal is to find the pieces with the least amount of water possible. Once they reach a certain moisture level, they are deemed “seasoned” and can be used for your fires.
There are some things you can look out for when searching for seasoned fuel. It will likely be dark and split at the ends. This indicates that it has been drying out for a longer period of time. This wood will also be lighter weight and will make a clearer thunk-ing noise when smacked together.
Build Your Fire
There are countless techniques for building fires, but one in particular seems to be growing in popularity. The following steps will guide you on how to build a top-down fire. These fires are longer-lasting, and you rarely have to tend to them. On top of this, they do not collapse on themselves, thus smothering flames and causing ash and embers to fly up and out. Try this method out today!
- Stack your largest logs on the floor of your fireplace. Continuing stacking your firewood so that the logs get smaller and smaller the higher up it goes. Do this until the logs are about half way up your fireplace’s opening.
- Place your kindling on top of this stack. Kindling consists of small twigs and branches.
- Place tinder on top of the kindling. You could use newspaper, grass, or anything similar that will easily ignite until your kindling really gets going.
- Enjoy! Once your fire gets going, it will simply work its way down the wood pile, while you sit back and relax.
Contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney for help with any of your fireplace-related needs. We look forward to working with you today!