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Should You Start a Fire With a Cold Chimney?

The end of the summer is a fantastic time to begin planning for winter weather and the use of your fireplace or stove. It’s also a great time to schedule a fireplace and chimney inspection.

You should never light a fire in your fireplace or appliance unless you have had an annual inspection and cleaning. During the several months of summer animals can crawl into your flue causing obstruction, water can seep into your lining causing damage, and numerous other things can happen in your chimney system. For this reason the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  recommends regular chimney sweeps, and annual inspections.

Once your fireplace is clean, safe, and you have properly-seasoned wood on hand you are ready to light a fire! However, a roaring fire and a cold chimney do not make a good combination.

Starting a Fire in a Cold Chimney - Smithtown NY - Chief Chimeny Services

The Problem With a Cold Chimney

When lighting your first fire of the season it’s important to remember that the chimney is cold. It’s filled with cold air that will fall into your house as soon as you open the damper. If the chimney isn’t primed before you build the fire, that cold will block the warm air from rising up, causing “air sink”, which will push smoke into your house.

Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to warm your chimney before you light that first fire.

  • Open the damper and you will usually feel the cold draft fall into your fireplace or stove. Some people decide to leave the damper open and let the heat in your house warm the chimney. Not only can this take several minutes or hours, if your fireplace is your method of home heating this won’t work for you. Also, if your chimney is on the outside of your house, this method most likely won’t work as the winter temperatures continue to cool the chimney.
  • Roll a newspaper and light it, holding it direction under the damper for three to four minutes. This allows for direct heat to move into the chimney and force it’s way up. If it is very cold, you may need to repeat this method with a second newspaper. During this process you can usually feel the exchange of warm and cold air. Once this happens, your chimney is primed.
    Build a top-down burn in the fireplace or appliance. A top-down burn, sometimes called an upside-down fire, allows for a cleaner burn, and makes the best use of the fireplace, producing less smoke in the process. Instead of placing tinder at the bottom and building on top of the struggling fire, you build in the opposite way: placing large logs at the bottom, then medium logs, then tender and kindling, adding a bit of paper to the top to light. This fire burns from the top, lighting the larger wood as the fire and ash falls. A top-down fire will also burn hotter, ensuring your chimney flue is thoroughly primed.

Avoid the headache of a smoky house and a struggling fire by following these simple tips before starting a cold fireplace. At Chief Chimney Services we urge you to take all precautions to have a safe and warm winter season.

By John Pilger on February 24th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Should You Start a Fire With a Cold Chimney?

“The Luck of the Chimney Sweep” History and Folklore

Disney’s Mary Poppins features an entire song based on the luck of the chimney sweep. “Good luck will rub off when I shake hands with you” as the song goes. The kisses, the handshakes, even the presence at your wedding will all give you good luck! If you’re in company with a sweep, you’re in lucky company indeed, but who says and why?

Theories and Myths

chimney sweep sitting on chimneyIt is said that royalty first declared chimney sweeps as lucky, but the idea likely goes as far back as comfortable warmth was appreciated. Wherever a chimney sweep left, the fireplace would burn bright, the chimney would be safe, and the family would be warm. However, the earliest believed instance in which the chimney sweep was declared to be lucky was in 1066. King William of Great Britain was pulled out of the way of a runaway carriage by a chimney sweep. Similarly, in the 1700s King George III traveled by carriage when his horses were spooked by a dog. It is said that a chimney sweep stopped the carriage before it could overturn, and thus the king declared chimney sweeps to be lucky. It turns out royals have some sway over luck, as chimney sweeps grew in popularity again when Prince Phillip dashed outside on the day of his marriage to the present Queen Elizabeth to shake the hand of a chimney sweep. As we know through history they have had a blessed marriage and many might attribute that all to luck—the luck of the chimney sweep.

Chimney Sweeps Today

Historically as well as today, the chimney sweep is associated with hearth and home around the world. People preferred warm homes to cold ones and as soon as a fireplace with vents were created in Medieval times, so was the need for a professional to maintain them. Then, as now, the chimney sweep is essential, but the luck of the chimney sweep has also lived on through the centuries.

Today you can hire a chimney sweep to attend your wedding to shake hands with the groom and to lay a kiss on the cheek of the bride. These traditions are fun and sweet and can be performed during the wedding ceremony or at your reception afterward. When you hire a chimney sweep you can expect they’ll attend with a unique sweep uniform, may carry a chimney brush on a rod, and even dust some ash on their nose. You may also prefer that your chimney sweep be dressed for the occasion and they may show up in a traditional American Sweep Uniform and Jacket like one of the collectibles on our website.

If you’re planning a wedding, parade, street fair, banquet, career day, or even health and safety event, consider hiring or inviting a chimney sweep for the occasion. Whatever the event, you could always use the good luck a chimney sweep will bring along!

Chimney Safety

Don’t depend on luck when it comes to your chimney safety. Depend on a chimney sweep! A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep has the knowledge, experience, and the right tools to keep your chimney safe year after year. Your chimney helps your fire to work properly and your fire helps to keep your home warm. The system is designed to last for years and to work safely and efficiently year after year, but it will only do so if used correctly and maintained regularly. Instead of leaving your chimney up to chance, hire a chimney sweep and rest assured that your fireplace is ready for your daily or weekly fire this winter. The well-maintained chimney will work more efficiently, burn less wood, and require less frequent service appointments in the future. Additionally, when you schedule a chimney sweep, the system also gets a thorough once-over by a certified professional who knows where to look and what to look for. A homeowner might overlook signs of chimney leaks or damages for months or even years, but a chimney expert will notice a hazard, big or small. When you schedule services regularly, many problems are caught and corrected before serious damage has occurred, cutting down on repair costs and prolonging the life of the chimney system.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both agree—the chimney sweep is lucky. Chimney systems that are frequented by sweeps are the safest and most efficient ones.

Lucky Chimney Sweeps in Suffolk County

At Chief Chimney Services we not only sell chimney sweep collectibles, but we’ve also been servicing chimneys and fire appliances on Long Island for decades, leading the charge in residential fire safety and community awareness.

Before you light your fire this season, schedule a sweep with one of our technicians. Schedule an appointment online or get your event on the books with one of our lucky sweeps today.

By John Pilger on December 10th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on “The Luck of the Chimney Sweep” History and Folklore

The Importance of a Clean Chimney in the New Year

Every twelve months your chimney system needs a good diagnostic appointment. Scheduling annual chimney inspections will keep your chimney at the highest efficiency and safety possible. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that annual inspections and routine sweeps prevent fires and help your chimney last longer. Scheduling in January means a safer chimney for the coldest weeks of winter and a waterproof chimney this spring.

Chief Chimney InspectionsThe importance of a clean chimney in the new year.

At Chief Chimney Services we see chimneys that may be multiple stories high, may be historical, and even very basic. No matter the age or the size, these chimneys need to be inspected annually and brought up to code compliance. Your municipal authorities require it, your homeowners insurance insists upon it, and your safety depends on it. We specialize in thorough inspections of all chimney types, and we utilize NFPA inspections in order to best serve every home and every customer.
Level One – This basic inspection is required annually when there are no changes made to the system or the use of the system. It includes all readily accessible portions of the system, including a visual inspection of the masonry exterior. This inspection assesses basic structural soundness, obstruction, creosote levels, and evaluates the condition and installation of the overall system.
Level Two – When there have been changes made to the system, including new installations or repairs, suspected damage, or natural occurrence which may affect the chimney, a more thorough inspection is required. A level two includes all that in a level one, in addition to a video scan of the interior of the system and accessible portions by attics, crawlspaces, and basements. Special attention is paid in a level two inspection to ensure clearance of combustible materials. Following your level two inspection, you’ll receive a written report and video footage for your records and to reinforce any recommendations from your chimney professional.

Schedule Now

When you schedule now, your chimney can be inspected before your fireplace usage is at its peak. January is the coldest time in many regions, especially here in our service area, and the fireplace is used the most. This means fire risk is higher, but it doesn’t have to be. Schedule a chimney inspection with Chief Chimney Services today. We’ll let you know if there is a problem with any part, component, or a portion of your chimney. We’ll make sure it is in good shape so you’re safe and warm this winter. We’ll determine if your system is properly safe from water penetration and animal intrusion, and we’ll offer a repair plan onsite if it isn’t.

Don’t let your chimney system up to chance. Start the new year with a new inspection that gives you peace of mind and saves you money in accidents and damage.

Call Chief Chimney Services today at 631-863-2460 or request an appointment online.

By John Pilger on January 16th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on The Importance of a Clean Chimney in the New Year

Checking Your Heating & Venting System Before the Cold Season

Summer is coming to an end, and fall is just around the corner. With the start of a new school year and new season, people can find themselves staying fairly busy. Fall is busy season for our chimney professionals too. It’s important to schedule heating and venting services now to avoid the fall rush, as our chimney professionals are busy with installations, repairs, and emergency calls.

Routine Maintenance

Checking Your Heating & Venting System Before the Cold Season - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney ServicesRoutine maintenance is preventative maintenance. Having your heating and venting system inspected and cleaned regularly prevents damage, waste, and health risk. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that routine chimney sweeps and annual inspections keep your chimney system working safely and efficiently.

You should get your chimney serviced regularly to prolongs its life. A clean and properly-functioning chimney is easier to light, the flame is easier to control, and less heat is wasted. A clean chimney does not stink of soot and creosote when the fireplace isn’t in use. Keeping your chimney regularly cleaned and inspected also means less drafting issues, leaks, and other hazards! Hiring a chimney professional for your comprehensive chimney care ensure the optimal health of your chimney.

Chief Chimney is here for you!

It’s our goal at Chief Chimney Services to ensure all of our customers and friends in the Suffolk County area are safe and comfortable this winter season. As members of CSIA, the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and the New York State Chimney Sweep Guild, our goal is to decrease the occurrence of residential chimney fires.

By continuously educating ourselves on new techniques and technologies to improve chimney function, we strive to serve you with the best chimney tips and care. The best way to prevent chimney malfunctions and hazards is to schedule preventive maintenance. If you haven’t had a chimney inspection in the last 12 months, then it’s time to schedule one now. Call Chief Chimney Services today at 631-863-2460.

By John Pilger on August 17th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Checking Your Heating & Venting System Before the Cold Season

Resolving Chimney Smoke and Drafting Problems

Your chimney should work for you. Like other systems in your home, you may take it for granted until it doesn’t work. Your chimney will work fine for a long time, venting your fire as it should, smoke escaping out the top of the flue. As long as it’s working, many homeowners don’t worry about scheduling routine services. The biggest thing to remember about the chimney system, however, is that when it works, it’s good. When it doesn’t work, it’s very bad.Resolving Chimney Smoke & Drafting - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

Dangers of a Smoky Fireplace

If you find that your fireplace smokes when you’re lighting the fire, especially in a cold chimney, it’s not a huge deal. If a little smoke escapes your stove when you open it to load in more wood, that isn’t a huge deal. When you have a persistent smoke issue and the damper is in the open position, it’s a problem. When the smoke pushes into your room consistently, and visibly, you have a problem. Your inefficient chimney isn’t just a fire hazard at this point. It’s also a hazard to your health.

Troubleshooting

Sometimes a smoky fireplace is a simple problem with a simple solution. If the chimney is cold, it can be difficult for the smoke to rise up the chimney. If the fire is hot and has been burning for an hour or more, this is likely not the issue. It may be that you have a draft problem, meaning your house is too tightly sealed and cannot draw air from it to create a draft. If this is the issue, it can be resolved simply by cracking a window or opening a door on an opposite side of the house. Other appliances may also interfere with the chimney’s draft. You may also try shutting these off to see if there is a difference in the chimney’s performance.

If you have tried troubleshooting with no luck, are burning dry, seasoned wood, and your damper is in the correct position, and you still have a smoky fireplace, it’s time to call a professional.

Chief Chimney Services Offers Diagnostic Inspections

At Chief Chimney Services, the safety and comfort of our customers in Suffolk County is our #1 priority. Fire is not the only safety concern when it comes to fireplaces. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory issues over time, sudden respiratory distress in asthmatics, and carbon monoxide poisoning in people of all ages. If you think you or a family member has inhaled too much smoke, seek medical attention.

If you haven’t resolved your smoky chimney/fireplace yourself, you can count on Chief Chimney Services. One of our technicians will come in and assess the entire chimney system for failing parts. It may be a simple issue that was overlooked during construction or something that occurred over time. If it’s a chimney sizing issue, it can be resolved with a new, appropriately-sized liner. We can replace it if it’s a faulty damper. If there is a solution to your chimney problem, the Chief can resolve it.

Contact Us

Call Chief Chimney Services to handle your smoky fireplace in Suffolk County. Call 631-863-2460, or schedule online.

By John Pilger on February 26th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Resolving Chimney Smoke and Drafting Problems

The Function of a Chimney Damper

There’s debate about the most important part of the chimney. What keeps it the safest? What makes it work efficiently? What can be improved? The fact is that every single part of the chimney is necessary for safe and efficient function. From top to bottom, the chimney system is designed exactly so that it vents the chimney in the most efficient way possible, changing with industrial andThe Function of a Chimney Damper - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services technological advancements. One of these advancements is to the damper. No more are homeowners stuck with an old throat damper. There is a better option, safer, more efficient, and affordable.

The Damper

The damper is a necessity. It closes or opens the flue to allow smoke to escape and air to flow. Your fire needs oxygen to burn, and also needs to vent smoke. When the damper becomes worn out or damaged, it can stop opening or closing, putting your family at risk when smoke cannot escape. It can also make it difficult to light a fire or keep one burning. If you have been troubleshooting to figure out why your fireplace is smoky, and cannot figure out the issue, you may have a damper problem and should call a professional.

Damper Replacement

Chief Chimney Services recommends top sealing dampers, which do the job of the chimney cap and the damper. They are affordable and have a tight-sealing close that closes firmly, keeping water, air, and wildlife out. Most of all, these dampers are functional. They do everything the throat damper did, but better. They should be open while the fire is burning and closed when it is out, allowing airflow when needed, and closing easily when necessary. The top sealing damper is installed at the top of the chimney opening but is engaged by a cord that reaches to the hearth, so you can open and close it with an easy tug.

Save Money

The top sealing damper is also called the energy saving damper, or energy top damper because it saves you money year-round. The traditional throat dampers do not have a tight seal, so they still continue to let air out of the chimney when closed. During the summer, you can lose conditioned air through the chimney. During the winter you may experience cold drafts when the fire isn’t lit. This costs you money! Save money year-round by sealing the chimney from the top to bottom.
Top energy dampers also prevent water damage by keeping water out of the flue completely, in addition to animals, insects, and debris.

This damper will start protecting your chimney as soon as it’s installed, and save you money just as fast! Make sure when you’re discussing your damper or cap with your trusted chimney sweep, you ask about energy saving tips as well! Chief Chimney Services is Long Island’s choice for comprehensive chimney maintenance. We keep our customers safe, and we want to save you money this year. Call Chief Chimney today and ask about a new damper for your chimney top.

By John Pilger on November 9th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on The Function of a Chimney Damper

Chimney Damper Installation

Your chimney is made up of many parts. These parts need to function properly in order for the chimney to do its job correctly. What happens when the chimney doesn’t work properly? The efficiency drops, fuel and energy go to waste, and fire risk goes up. In addition, it will also require more maintenance than usual. One of these indispensable parts is the damper.All About Chimney Damper Installation - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney

The Chimney Damper

During the cold months when a fire is burning in your fireplace, stove, or insert – the damper is very important! With it you can control the intensity of the flame and prevent smoke from filling your home. You should never close your damper completely when a fire is burning. This is because it closes the vent, letting hazardous gases into your home. It is also helpful during the off-season, keeping hot air from falling from the chimney into the house, or letting conditioned air leave through the chimney. A damper closed securely can save you in energy costs.

Common Damper Problems

Like every part of the chimney, even a good damper can go bad over time. There are many factors that can affect the damper. These include water leaks, soot, and creosote buildup. Also, natural occurrences like tornadoes, earthquakes, and fires can affect it too. Some older homes may have an outdated damper that is less efficient or worn out. Maybe your damper isn’t worn out, but it doesn’t fit securely enough to prevent a draft. What’s the only thing worse than burning too much electricity running an air conditioner? Running an air conditioner and still feeling a warm draft! You can prevent this occurrence by having a new damper installed.

Top-Sealing Dampers

Energy-top, or top-sealing dampers, take all of the benefits of a traditional damper, and improves upon them. This damper is installed at the top of the chimney, instead of the interior throat of the chimney, and functions as a cap as well as a damper. When the fire is burning, the damper stays open to vent the fire properly. The damper also keeps animals, debris, and weather out year-round. This is just like a cap, except the tight seal closes it completely when the fire is out. That means that you save on heating/cooling costs when your fireplace isn’t in use. You don’t have to buy a complicated chimney sealing kit or climb on the roof with a tarp. You simply pull the chain located next to your fireplace, and it closes securely.

What better way to protect your chimney than from the top down? With the energy-top dampers, you don’t have to worry about critters crawling into your flue. It also prevents humidity mingling with your chimney soot that can make it stink!

Homeowners love the benefits and the savings so much, that more and more are having their throat dampers replaced with these energy-top dampers. If you’re interested in one, now is the time to make the change. You can still save on energy this summer if you schedule your appointment now. Contact Chief Chimney Services and let’s talk chimney dampers. Call 631-863-2460 or make an appointment online!

By John Pilger on July 10th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Chimney Damper Installation

Tips for Starting a Cold Fireplace

It shouldn’t be a big deal to light a fire in a cold fireplace, but it’s more than you think. Your chimney works by using the draft that hot air provides to push byproducts up the chimney. These vapors include smoke, tar, chemical gases, water vapors, and microscopic particles. These gases can affect the air quality in your home. Your health could be harmed if the gases are allowed into the living area. The best way to prevent a smoky fireplace is to make sure that updraft in the flue is present. If the chimney is cold, the cold air in the flue will not only block the warm air from rising, but will fall into your house. The temperature has to rise in the chimney before it will work properly.

Priming the Chimney

The process of bringing the flue’s temperature up is called priming. The easiest way to prime a cold chimney is to light a newspaper roll and allow it to burn at the base of the chimney. This is usually possible with a fireplace as well as a stove once you locate the opening. When the newspaper roll is burned completely the chimney should be warm enough to support the updraft needed for an efficient burn.

Lighting a Fire in a Cold Chimney

A cold chimney pushes smoke into your house, but it can make the process of fire-building long and bothersome. To make it easier on yourself and your chimney, you can hone your fire-building skills. This means burning only properly seasoned wood, and building a fire that will make some heat. This is because the chimney needs enough heat to create an updraft. After you have primed your chimney, you want to build the best fire possible.

Introducing the Top-Down Burn

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends the top-down burn to build the best fire possible. The top-down burn contradicts everything we think we know about fire-building, but the industry’s top professionals know its worth. Traditionally you would build a fire with kindling and paper at the base, with bigger sticks, medium logs, and finally the largest logs on top. The top-down burn is built the opposite way, with the larger fuel at the bottom, up to the kindling and small bits of lighting paper at the top. This way the fire and embers burn and fall onto the other fuel. The fire burns more efficiently and fuel burns more completely, decreasing smoke and particulate pollution. It also creates a better-burn faster, which drives the exhaust up the chimney.

There is a lot that goes into an efficient chimney system. Be sure your fire is primed before lighting it, otherwise you may ruin your night with a smoky living room. Your chimney is more likely to be cold if its on the exterior, even if central heat is your main heat source. Don’t let the cold air from your chimney fall into your warm house!

Call a professional if you have bigger concerns about your system.

By John Pilger on January 10th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Tips for Starting a Cold Fireplace

Is Your Chimney Ready for Winter?

As winter weather sets in, we all start to look longingly toward our fireplaces for warmth and light. But before you light that fire, make sure your home, fireplace, and chimney are ready and safe. Here’s a checklist to start with:

Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

Is Your Chimney Ready for WInter - Suffolk County NY - Chief ChimneySmoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home, and should be checked often.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas produced when certain fuels are burned that has the potential to kill if left undetected. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on each level of the home, especially near sleeping areas.

Stock up on seasoned firewood.

Only use firewood that was cut and split at least six months ago, and has been stored in a high and dry place protected from rain and dampness. Green and/or wet wood produces more creosote, which could lead to chimney fires.

Reverse your ceiling fans.

During the summer months we use our ceiling fans to move cool air around, but in the winter months the fan blades should rotate the opposite way to make sure the warm air that has risen to the ceiling is pushed back down to the ground where you can enjoy it.

Have a CSIA-certified chimney technician visit.

Chimney Safety Institute of America-certified technicians have gone through extensive training and education to ensure that they can identify and treat fireplace and chimney damage or problem areas. You should have a CSIA-certified technician inspect your chimney at least once a year. The tech should inspect your chimney and fireplace and will alert you to any structural issues like cracked linings, missing or broken masonry, and mortar joint issues.
If necessary (the technician will tell you), have them sweep your chimney to remove any potentially flammable creosote left over from last year’s fires.
Consider having the technician install a chimney cap. People aren’t the only things that get cold in the winter! Birds, bats, and other small animals like to escape the cold, and your chimney seems nice and cozy. A chimney cap will keep these little guys out, making your life much easier.

Before you light that fire, call Chief Chimney Services serving the Suffolk, NY area. Our CSIA-certified technicians can talk to you about inspection options, sweeping, and chimney accessories to keep your home warm and your fires safe.

By John Pilger on November 25th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Is Your Chimney Ready for Winter?

Starting a cold fireplace

As the cold weather approaches, Chief Chimney Services in Long Island, New York wants to make sure that you are using your fireplace in an efficient and safe manner. We know there is nothing better than the sound, ambiance, and warmth from a crackling fire in your fireplace. And, there is nothing worse than a house full of smoke and toxic fumes caused by improperly starting a cold fireplace.

starting-cold-fireplace-image-suffolk-county-ny-chief-chimney-services

There are very specific considerations you need to know and specific techniques to successfully light a fire in a cold fireplace:

Before the cold weather approaches, a thorough inspection and cleaning by a CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified chimney technician is a must to ensure your chimney, fireplace, and their components are fully operational and clean. If you avoid this step, you are putting your house and family at risk for a fire, explosion, and toxic gas poisoning. CSIA, in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), urges homeowners to have a yearly inspection and cleaning of their fireplaces and chimneys before using the fireplace for the first time each season. Your skilled CSIA certified chimney technician will identify and repair any potential hazards and remove any blockages from debris or critters so you will be ready for that first fire of the year.

Once you have done your due diligence and had the cleaning and inspection performed and repaired any problems then it’s time to prepare to light your first fire of the season. The first thing to do (and many times overlooked) is OPEN THE DAMPER. The setting for many romantic and utilitarian fires have been ruined as the room filled up with smoke because the damper was not opened before the wood was lit.

The next step is to prime the flue. Here’s why that is so important. Consider that your chimney is located on the outside of your home and surrounded by the cold fall or winter temperatures. Remember, hot air rises and cold air sinks. So when you open the damper, cold air from outside is drawn down your chimney. The cold air forms a barrier as the warm air from inside your home begins to rise. This is called “air sink”. When air sink occurs and the smoke cannot escape out the chimney your house fills up with smoke. The way to avoid air sink is to prime the flue by lighting a rolled up newspaper or piece of seasoned wood and holding it to the damper for 3-4 minutes. You will actually be able to feel the warm and cold air exchange. Once that happens you can proceed to the next step in lighting your fire.

Place your wood atop a bed a couple inches thick of ashes.The ash bed will provide additional insulation to keep your fire burning hotter. Remember the hotter the fire, the more safe and efficient it is.

As the final step is to build what is known as an “upside down” fire:

Stack large or split logs next to one another tightly to form your bottom layer. Place slightly smaller logs/split logs perpendicular to the bottom layer to form the 2nd layer.
Repeat this process using smaller and smaller pieces to a reasonable height – usually 2-5 layers depending on:

  • The size of your fireplace
  • How much wood you have on hand
  • How long you want the fire to burn

At the top add strips or crumpled newspaper and dry kindling.
Light the newspaper/kindling at the top and watch that baby burn itself down.

By following these recommendations when you initially start your cold fireplace, you will be able to truly appreciate and enjoy romantic and utilitarian fires all season long.

By John Pilger on September 27th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Starting a cold fireplace