It might be hot outside right now, but winter will return before you know it.
When those cold months swing around, it’s important to stay warm. Thus you need to know how to start a fire in a fireplace.
For many homeowners, this can be a challenging task. After all, building a quality fire isn’t as easy as it looks. First, you need to understand the process, and then properly build the fire so that it’s safe and contained.
This article takes a look at the basic steps for fire in fireplaces. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on how to make sure that your family stays toasty when Mother Nature makes it chilly outside.
Clean Out Old Ashes
The first step in prepping your fireplace fire is to make sure the area is clean and ready to go. This includes clearing out the old ashes so that you have plenty of room to work.
Use a metal ash bucket and a fireplace shove to carefully clear out the ashes, then set it outside to cool before discarding.
It’s important to remember that the ashes might still contain red-hot embers that could easily become a fire hazard if tossed out too soon. Thus you always need to allow for an adequate cooling period.
Gather Some Firewood
Next, you’ll need to gather some logs to have ready once the fire is lit. There’s no reason to go overboard and bring in too much, just make sure to have a few logs ready so that you won’t have to immediately rush outside.
You can also use starter logs. These are logs made of compressed pulp material that lights easily and simplifies the entire process. Starter logs can be purchased at any hardware store at minimal cost and will save you from having to mess with newspaper and kindling.
Buy Firewood Direct is a great resource for making sure you have what you need.
Gather Kindling and Newspaper
If you choose to not use starter logs, then you will definitely need newspaper and kindling.
This is will provide starter material to help get the fire going. Again, you won’t need a ton of material, just keep enough near the fireplace so that you can add to your starter kit as needed. Sometimes a fire needs very little, but sometimes you might need a bit of extra starter material when your fire doesn’t want to cooperate.
Check the Damper
Now take a moment to make sure that your fireplace damper is working properly. The damper is a movable plate designed to sit between the fireplace and the flue.
Make sure it’s clear of debris so that it won’t have any problems opening or closing. Keep in mind that this is a crucial safety aspect of how a fireplace is designed to function.
Prime the Flue
You’ll also need to prime the flue in order to avoid having smoke pour into your home. This is a relatively easy process, yet very important.
First, ignite a roll of newspaper. Then hold it up to your damper. Hold it there for a few minutes so that the flue has time to warm up.
When the priming is complete, you should be ready to start the process of building your fire with the materials you’ve gathered.
Ball Up Some Newspaper
You’re going to need a minimum of several pages of newspaper. Keep in mind that if you have trouble getting your kindling lit, more newspaper might be required.
Take some newspaper and ball it up. Place the ball beneath the iron grate inside your fireplace. Now repeat this two or three more times, arranging the balls of paper close together. The paper is intended as starter material to help the flame ignite your kindling.
Now take several sticks of kindling, arranging them in a tee-pee over the balls of paper. You’ll need to provide enough kindling material so that the flames will sustain long enough to add larger material to your fire.
Small dried branches broken into six-inch pieces make the best kindling. Or use a hatchet to shave off pieces of wood from scraps of 2x4s.
The key is to make sure that your kindling is dry so that it will easily burn once you’ve lit the paper.
The most common mistake people make when lighting a fire is to start with too much material. Remember to always start small.
You should start with the balls of paper and kindling, and once that’s burning, add very small pieces of wood.
Always place the logs at angles so that oxygen can reach the flames. People often make the mistake of simply piling several large logs on at once, cutting off the flow of oxygen and essentially dowsing the fire.
Add the first two pieces of wood and wait for them to catch. Then slowly add more wood as the flames grow in strength and size.
One of the keys to effectively building a fire in your fireplace is to learn patience. This can be challenging when you’re cold, but patience is the key to success.
Resist the impulse to try to build your fire into a roaring blaze all at once. It takes time to grow a small flame into a blazing fire. You’ll need to follow the steps, allowing your paper to ignite the kindling and then for the kindling to ignite the smaller pieces of firewood.
Keep in mind that building a fire is not like flipping on a light switch. It’s a process.
A Basic Guide to How to Start a Fire In a Fireplace
It’s important to stay warm during the winter. Fortunately, these tips for how to start a fire in a fireplace will help get home warm as quickly as possible.
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