Even though everyone enjoys having a fireplace when it is chilly outside, most people find it a challenge to start and maintain a fire. The most aesthetically pleasing fireplaces are those that burn wood, but there are a few points to note if you want to appreciate the roaring warmth they create in your home. Read on to uncover tips on how to start and keep a flame in your indoor fireplace.
Tips on Lighting and Maintaining an Indoor Fireplace
Below are seven main things you need to do:
Remove the Ashes From an Indoor Fireplace
Have your chimney swept first, preferably at the beginning of the season. Sweep or vacuum and dispose of the cold ashes outside. However, it helps to have some ashes close by that will help to ignite the fire. Coals can remain heated up for 2 to 3 days and provide a fire risk when they come into contact with combustible substances. So, have a fire extinguisher close by, and ensure it is in proper working condition.
Go for Seasoned Wood
Seasoned wood is drier, fires more efficiently, and emits less smoke than green wood. The best way to differentiate between seasoned and green wood is by hitting any two pieces of wood against each other. Seasoned wood sounds hollow whenever struck against another wood. It also feels lighter than green wood of the same dimension.
Besides being brighter, green wood has a richer scent and is fresher than seasoned wood, which is darker and less fragrant. Seasoned wood also has cracks on the edges.
Arrange the Logs
There are many ways to arrange your logs before firing them up. Some people prefer a slightly more complex arrangement. For example, laying two wood logs on either side of the grates and the other two logs crosswise on the top. There are also those who prefer using the conventional triangular arrangement. If these patterns do not interest you, consider an upside-down arrangement.
Limit the Size of the Fire in an Indoor Fireplace
Small fires in fireplaces produce less smoke and creosote accumulation. Rather than using flammable materials when lighting your fire, lay the logs in the back of the wood-burning fireplaces and kindle to cause an ignition.
Before lighting the fireplace, balance the chilly air in your chimneys using warmer air, since it cannot vent the cold air if it suddenly becomes too hot. Hold a rolled-up newspaper close to the open damper while lighting the end on fire. To experience the air reversal, keep repeating as the warm air gets sucked up the chimney.
Examine the Damper and Add Some Kindling
Examine the fireplace damper’s functionality – the damper sits right above the fireplace before the flue. Ensure nothing impedes its ability to open and close.
After lighting the newspapers, add extra kindling to the grate’s bottom to help it start. You can arrange the kindling longitudinally or horizontally. Besides, you can use dry, thin slices of wood as kindling to ignite your flame.
Turn Off Your Heater if Using an Indoor Fireplace
The furnace is likely to turn on as the cooler air enters the house to replenish the warm air used by the fireplace. When the furnace is on, it sucks air into the return vent, directly competing with the fireplace’s need for ventilation. Switching off the furnace prevents that.
Connect With Indoor Fireplace Experts in Columbia and Ellicott City Today
For over 175 years, Clarks Ace Hardware has provided devoted heating solutions in Ellicott City and Columbia, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. We stock the highest quality wood, electric, and gas-burning fireplaces, and our expert staff also offers chimney services.
You can also stop by one of our Columbia hardware stores to understand how various electric fireplaces and solid fuel heaters operate. If you are looking for first-hand guidance on how to start a fire within your indoor fireplace, we are your best bet.