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Starting a Fire in a Cold Fireplace

Sometimes when it’s really cold out, you may find that it’s hard to get a good fire going in your fireplace. Just when you really want to cozy up in front of a crackling fire, you get nothing but frustration! Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to alleviate this problem. However, you might want to know what’s causing your troubles.

Exterior Wall Chimneys

According to WoodHeat.org, over the past 50 years or so fireplaces have moved from the interiors of homes to exterior walls. Because of this location, your flue can tend to be cold when you open the damper. The cold air that’s in the flue will sink and displace the warm air that’s in your home. Do you feel cold air when you open the damper? If so, when you proceed to light a fire, you may very well end up with a smoke-filled room. A simple solution to this is to first prime your flue.

Priming Your Flue

Priming your chimney is an easy process. All you need some newspaper and matches. Chimneys.com describes the process like this: roll up the newspaper, light one end, and hold the lit end as high as you can up into the damper opening. After a couple of minutes, you should start to feel the cold air start to warm as it moves up the chimney and the draft is reversed. When this happens, you can go ahead and light the fire in the fireplace.

Sometimes your chimney is just too cold, even when you try to prime it. If this is the case, you can always leave the damper open for around 30 minutes. This will let the warm air from your house slowly work its way up the chimney to warm it. Obviously, this isn’t a very efficient way, but it will work.

Start Your Fire

After you’ve primed your chimney, it’s time to start a fire. You’ll want to start with well-seasoned wood; it’s usually recommended that the wood sit for at least 6 months after cutting the tree to make sure it’s dry enough so that you don’t have a smoky fire. There are different ways to build a fire. The Art of Manliness suggests starting with an ash bed that’s about an inch or two thick to insulate the fire. To build the fire, one method that’s been proven to work is to use the upside-down method. Start with larger logs on the bottom, then add some smaller logs. Put kindling material on top of the smaller logs. Afterwards, add crumpled newspaper to get the fire started. Touch a match to the newspaper, and you’ll soon have a nice, clean-burning fire going.

Clean Fireplaces Work Best

One important thing to remember is to start with a clean chimney. To make sure that your chimney is clean and running efficiently, give the expert technicians at Chim Cheroo Chimney Service a call. They will do your annual chimney inspection and cleaning and you’ll know that the job is done right. Give them a call today to get a jump on planning your annual inspection!

By Don Rhine on February 7th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Starting a Fire in a Cold Fireplace

Stove Vs. Insert: What Option is Best for You?

As winter approaches, you may be wondering what the most economical way to heat your home might be. You definitely are looking for efficiency, andStove Vs. Insert What Option is Best for You IMG- Mansfield OH- Chim Cheroo Chimney Service INC-w800-h597 you definitely want an economical way to stay warm on those cold winter nights.

Inefficiency of Mortar Fireplaces

Although fireplaces have a lot of eye-appeal, older mortar fireplaces are known to be inefficient for several reasons. If your fireplace does not have some type of glass doors, the heat from the fire is being drawn out of your home through the chimney. Not only is your home not being heated by the fire, the emissions released into the air can contribute to the polluting of the atmosphere. According to the Chicago Tribune, the type of damper that is in your fireplace can contribute to the inefficiency of your fireplace. If you have a throat damper, it can warp or rust, which causes your fireplace to not work as effectively. All things considered, most older fireplaces can’t really be considered heating sources at all, as most of the heat produced goes right up the chimney.


One way to increase efficiency in your older fireplace is to add an insert. Howstuffworks explains an insert as “basically a fireproof box that’s surrounded by steel or cast iron and fronted by insulated glass, creating a closed combustion system.” Sometimes an insert will include a blower that pushes the hot air back into a room rather than allowing it to escape through the chimney. These inserts use the existing chimney to vent the gasses and smoke outdoors.

There are several types of inserts: wood, coal, or pellet burning; gas; electric; or propane. Which type of insert you choose depends on a number of factors: for example, electric heat is easy to install and offers a quick heat source (just a flick of a switch can turn your ‘fire’ on and off again), while gas heat can offer an efficient, easy to maintain heat source, especially if you already have a gas line to your home. Wood burning takes more effort, as you need to either cut or buy wood to burn, set up the fire, and clean up afterwards; however, you won’t need to worry about a gas leak which might occur while burning a gas fire. (Remember: if you use gas heat, it is of extreme importance that you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.)

Wood Stoves

Another option might be a wood burning stove. Wood burning stoves have progressed from the stove that your grandpa used. Energy.gov states that modern stoves can not only heat more area, but also burn cleaner and more efficiently than the stoves of the past. One problem with wood burning stoves is the amount of pollutants they produce; if you choose to go with this option, be sure to check your local ordinances to be sure that your stove meets local regulations.

Chim-Cheroo Chimney Service

Whether you decide to on an insert or a wood stove, you can be sure that the experts at Chim-Cheroo Chimney Service can help you choose the best option for your personal needs. They carry only the top brands, and are knowledgeable and professional while helping you pick the perfect heating source for your home.

By Don Rhine on August 23rd, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Stove Vs. Insert: What Option is Best for You?