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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!

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