Axe & Answered may receive some form of compensation from the links on this page, at no extra charge to you. Learn more.
If you are like a lot of people, one of your favorite things to do is to spend time sitting by a warm and cozy fireplace fire. This is made even more special when you do it with someone you love.
And, what could be more relaxing than getting done with a hard day’s work, sitting down in a comfortable chair, and unwinding next to a glowing hearth?
If you have never started a fire in a fireplace (and no, gas doesn’t count), this guide will get you up and burning in no time.
Learn How to Keep the Smoke from Filling Your Home or Cabin
Step 1: Check to make sure your chimney is clean and free of blockages. Dirty chimneys are not only troublesome, but they can be dangerous.
Before the weather starts to cool off and you start lighting fires, have a licensed chimney sweep check out your chimney to make sure it is free of soot and other things that can start fires and cause smoke to back up into your house. Even if you have never used your fireplace, it’s a good idea to have a chimney sweep check it out to make sure there are no leaves, bird nests, or other obstructions that can cause problems.
Step 2: Open the damper. It’s almost a rite of passage, but if you want to avoid having your home fill with smoke, make sure you open the hamper fully before you start a fire. Otherwise, this is exactly what will happen.
Step 3: Prime the flue. If you have a chimney that is on the outside of your home, the flue needs to be primed before you start your fire.
When you get started, the air in your flue will be cold. When you open the damper, the cold air will fall and go into your warm home. To prevent this, you should first open the flue, then light a small roll of newspaper and hold it up to the opening of the damper to warm up the air in the flue. When you start to feel warm air coming from the flue, you are ready to start your fire.
Step 4: Build an ash bed. A nice hot fire is dependent on a lot of different factors working together. One of these is oxygen.
To encourage an efficient flow of oxygen, which will make for a hot fire, you should build a 1-2 inch bed of ash in the hearth. If you have disposed of all your ask, take from your outside barbecue.
Be sure not to make this bed too large. One to two inches of ash is plenty.
Step 5: First, make sure you’re using a firewood good for indoor use.
Next, start to build your fire. There are many different ways to build a fire, but if you are looking for a fire that will be clean and last for a long time, the upside-down fire is best.
Unlike most traditional fire lays, the upside-down fire is built with the largest wood you have on the bottom, with the smallest on the top. Your fire starter, which is made up of newspaper balls and other things that are quick to light, are put on the top of the smallest pieces of wood.
Since the warm air created goes from the top it doesn’t pass through the cold logs below, creating a cleaner and hotter fire. And since your fire burns from the top down, you won’t have to load wood on as often as other styles of fires.
Follow the steps above and you’ll have a warm and comfy fire in no time. After that, all you have to do is to enjoy your evening by the hot fire. The food, beverages, and company are your responsibility to provide.