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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

Reduce Fire Hazards This Winter

The holidays are past and we are well into January. So, it’s safe to say that we are deep into the cold winter season. For many people, there isn’t too much to look forward to for the next several months. However, your fireplace can change that way of thinking! Hold back on wishing for those warm, sunny summer months to get here quickly. Instead, plan to spend time cuddled up in front of a cozy, crackling fire. That being said, these plans can be turned upside down quickly. How? If you don’t take some time to make sure that you are running your fireplace safely and efficiently.

Chimney Fire

Probably the biggest fear of most fireplace owners is the fear of chimney fire. Fortunately, chimney fires can easily be avoided by following a few preventative steps. Of course, the easiest way to avoid this is also the most important! Always make sure that you have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis. In addition, inspected by qualified professionals, such as those at Chim Cheroo Chimney Service.
When we think of chimney fires, most people think of a roaring fire with billowing smoke rolling out of the chimney. In some cases, this is what happens. It might surprise you to know, however, that most chimney fires aren’t that dramatic. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, most chimney fires don’t get enough air. Also, don’t have enough fuel to burn fast enough to cause this kind of dramatic fire. Consequently, because the temperature is so high, they can cause structural damage to your chimney. This damage can only be diagnosed by a knowledgeable professional. As stated on the CSIA website, “Clean chimneys don’t catch fire.”

Burn the Right Wood

Different types of wood make for different types of fire. The Nationwide website tells us that different types of wood produce different types of fire. Whether you are going for a heat producing fire or a pleasant looking fire, it is important to always use well-seasoned wood. There are a couple of reasons for this: first, you will have a fire that produces less smoke this way, and second, you will have a fire that releases less creosote-causing particles into your chimney. And less creosote build-up means less chance for a chimney fire.

Preventative Measures

There are other ways to reduce fireplace hazards this winter. Keep any flammable materials, whether furniture, draperies, pillows and cushions, books, or toys, at a reasonable distance from the fireplace. These things could easily catch a spark and start a fire that can cause major destruction to your home. Also, make sure that your children have been properly trained in fireplace safety, and never leave small children alone in a room where there’s a fire burning. And make sure you never leave matches in a place where inquisitive children can reach them.

Who Can Help

These are just a few tips to reduce fire hazards while using your fireplace this winter. But if you have other questions or concerns, give Chim Cheroo Chimney Service a call. The staff at Chim Cheroo is knowledgeable and helpful and will be able to answer all of your questions about fireplace safety. And while you have them on the phone, ask about scheduling your yearly inspection and cleaning!

By Don Rhine on January 12th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Reduce Fire Hazards This Winter