We’ve shared our tips to get ready for the burning season. We’ve also shared the most common tried and true ways to build and maintain a wood burning fire. Have you ever heard of “priming the flue” or building an “upside down fire”? If not, these are unique ways to ready your chimney for a hearth fire and also ensure that your fire stays hot and steady.
Let’s take a step back though and review things you should have thought of before you begin to build a hearth fire this holiday season.
Before Striking the Match
Before rolling up your sleeves to build the perfect cozy fire in your wood burning fireplace, make sure you are prepared.
Follow this checklist to make sure important preparatory elements are not overlooked this burning season:
- Have the chimney inspected and serviced (if needed) by a certified chimney sweep
- Purchase/gather dry firewood/tinder/kindling
- Make sure you have all the necessary implements; Fireplace grate and tools (poker, shovel, brush), matches and/or lighter
Now that you are ready to strike the match and create the warm glow, smell and sound of a soothing wood fire, consider more efficient burning methods.
Techniques for the Perfect Fire
Building a wood burning fire indoors usually involves, the following steps:
- Open the damper
- Assemble your wood/tinder/kindling
- Light your fire
- Maintain your fire
If you ever built a fire in a fireplace, then you know that if you don’t open your flue, you are in for a very smoky room! If you have a fireplace, then I’m sure this has happened at least one time. Even if the damper is open, there can be excess smoke if the fire is built and lit too quickly. Most of us accept this as a natural beginning of our indoor fire, but it doesn’t have to be. Minimize smoke blowing back into the room once you get your fire started by priming the flue.
Prime the Flue
Next time you open the damper on a chilly day, pay attention to the downdraft of air escaping into the room from the chimney opening. Chances are, the air will mimic the temperature outside. This is simply because most chimneys are built on the outside of a building. If it’s cold outside, then the chimney flue will harbor cold air. If you don’t wait for the trapped air in the flue to dissipate, the fire in the fireplace will smoke for a bit until the fire is well under way & the trapped air has completely escaped.
Minimize the smoky stage of your fire by priming or warming your flue. Try lighting a rolled up newspaper and holding it up into the chimney until you feel the air draft reverse from down to up. Once you feel this change in direction, you are ready to build your fire.
Upside Down Fire
The most common type of fire building technique specifies to build a fire from the bottom up. This usually means to construct the materials from bottom to top in this order:
- Small wood pieces
- Large logs
This does work well, but it can sometimes produce needless smoke.
An “upside down fire” can minimize smoky situations by allowing the burning materials to “ease” into the fire. All you do is reverse the construction by making the bottom elements on top:
- Large logs
- Small wood pieces
By lighting the tinder on the top and allowing the fire to move downward, the large logs have a time to warm up, enabling the wood to burn cleaner which means less smoke.
Enjoy your fireplace to the fullest this holiday season, by invoking these tips and only using the driest wood. Remember the most efficient, comforting fire in any indoor fireplace starts with the driest wood.
Premier Firewood Has the Best Wood for Your Fireplace
We offer the best kiln dried firewood in the NYC and CT areas at great prices, excellent service and convenience. Premier Firewood Company can deliver firewood to your residence or restaurant, and stack the wood for you at no extra charge. Give us a call today at 203-866-4252.