“Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful!” One of the most iconic Christmas songs knows your fireplace is a thing of delight. As the evenings arrive earlier, and the weather gets colder, the coziest place you can rest from a long day is right in front of your beautiful fireplace. The warmth, the glow, and the nostalgic smell all join in to create a space you’ll keep returning to all winter long. Here are some tips on how to light the coziest fire!
First Tip Before Lighting that Fire
Before lighting the inaugural fire for the year, make sure to contact us to schedule a chimney sweep service. It’s easy for leaves and bird nests to build up in your chimney. When debris builds up, it can create an excess of smoke, as well as an unsafe burn. Creosote can build up and cause a chimney fire, and that won’t be the kind of cozy fire we’re looking for. Also, remember to open the damper, so that smoke doesn’t fill your home. It’s a good time to ensure that the cap on the top of your fireplace is in place and in good working order.
Preheating the Flue
Did you know you can help your chimney work more efficiently? In order to light the most coziest fire in your fireplace, the heat must move up and out of the chimney to warm the room air. Your chimney flue plays a vital role in helping that happen, so it’s always a smart idea to preheat it. Whether it’s your first fire of the winter season, or you’ve had one a few days ago, taking the time to go through these couple of simple steps goes a long way in the quality of your fire.
- Open the damper before you light your fire.
- Test the airflow using a match or lighter – when you hold the flame in your fireplace, it should stay straight. If the match flame doesn’t stay upright, it means smoke could infiltrate your room air.
You can preheat your flue with a piece of newspaper lighting it like a torch. Then, very carefully, hold it up like a torch inside your chimney to warm the air. We recommend you do this every time you light a fire in your fireplace to prevent smoke from escaping your chimney.
The “Upside-Down” Method to a Cozy Fire
How do you make sure to light a fire that provides the right amount of heat, and requires little attention? The upside-down method is one such way! Build your fire, starting with the biggest logs on the bottom. Continue stacking perpendicular, building 3 rows total, and finishing with the smallest logs on top. Spread the kindling out on the top row of small logs. Before lighting the kindling, make sure the height of your log stack is no more than half the height of your fireplace opening. This method allows fiery embers to release from the top down, slowly setting the larger logs below ablaze, and giving you a low maintenance fire all evening.
Light a Cozy Fire Using the “Log Cabin” Method
This method will have you building a structure reminiscent of those old Lincoln Log houses you built as a child! Start with two small logs, and lay them about 6 inches apart, laying them parallel to the back of the fireplace. Spread the kindling in between the logs, and don’t skimp. Grab two more logs, laying them on top of the first two, but perpendicular. Follow this pattern, and add one more layer. Again, check to make sure the height of your log stack is no more than half the height of your fireplace. Light the kindling, and enjoy the continual heat this fire gives you late into the night!
We Know Fireplaces!
Maybe you’re a grab-a-book-and-blanket by the fire gal. Maybe you’re a cuddle-up-with-my-honey kind of guy. Whatever gives you the warm fuzzies when you think of lighting a fire in your beautiful fireplace, we are certain these techniques will have you enjoying it all winter long. At Energy Center-Manhattan Pool, we can design and install your fireplace, sweep your chimney, provide year long maintenance, and even get you set up with the right fireplace tools and cleaners! No matter your fireplace needs this winter, we are here to serve you and help you light the coziest fire. Come Find Your Gathering Place at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool!