Add ambiance on heating costs by utilizing a fireplace. Here’s all you should know about how to use a fireplace for proper safety and technique precautions. During the winter, nothing can beat warming the home with the crackling fire. But the wood-burning fireplace should provide you long-lasting burning flames, and one mistake can fill your living room with the smoke or spark a dangerous home fire.
However, there is a complete step by step instructions to use a fireplace, including starting and maximizing the lighting the fire, draft, building, and keep the fire going.
In our article, we will explain the steps you have to take to have successful and hot fires in the fireplace while explaining what you do to keep fires burning for longer at how to prevent a fire in the fireplace from going out.
Table of Contents
How To Use A Fireplace
Start draft by opening fireplace damper, open any doors or air vents within the room, and warming up the air within the chimney.
Build a fire in the fireplace using logs, kindling, and a form of fire starter as a newspaper. The flame can either be built using the traditional method or using the top-down fire method.
You need to light the long fire matches by lighting the fire starter in many areas as possible across the fireplace.
To keep flame going, add more massive sized logs to the fire once the initial bits of wood have burnt through. Use hardwood logs for hotter and longer burning.
Now we will how to use the fireplace in more detail, taking step by step through all processes that need to have a fire at each step how we use the open fireplace to have successful and hot fires.
Whether you are using the fireplace for the first time or looking for ways to improve fires, we’ll explain how to properly use the open fireplace at each step when starting a fire.
Tools & Materials
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Smoke detector
- Hardwood or softwood kindling
- Fireplace gloves
- Fireplace shovel
- Fireplace poker
- Fire extinguisher
- Fireplace ash bin
How To Use Fireplace
Using the fireplace isn’t difficult as it seems, but once you get into using the fireplace more often, you’ll find that there’s be a lot of things that won’t quite work out how you need. You may find that its hard to start a fire without going out or smoke, or it is not putting as heat as you’d wish. Various steps required to keep the fire going, such as oxygen and fuel.
It understands what kind of firewood you use in fires and how it affects how fireplace burns, as well as understanding how airflow in and out of the fire will help you to hotter and successful fires at home.
Some necessary steps you should go through to operate fireplace are:
- Start the process
- Build the fire
- Light the fire
- Keep fire going
Moreover, all these steps have their sub-steps, and there are also different options or routes you can go down when it comes to building a fire. We have covered all these steps throughout the article.
Step 1: Stay Safe
Before bringing the lighter, it’s essential to understand the safety precautions for using the fireplace. Always double-check that your fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector are each in working order.
Remove anything flammable within the three feet of the fireplace in ease, stray sparks, and use a fireplace screen as well. Make sure the flue is not blocked by the obstructions, especially if this is your first time using it. If the unit has not been recently inspected, hire chimney sweep certified by the CSIA to do the work.
Step 2: Gather Kindling
Gather the kindling in different sizes for proper fire building technique that is outlined. To emit less soot and smoke, make sure the wood is completely dry and well seasoned, split at least six months ago. You can choose either the softwood or hardwood for fire. While the hardwoods like oak or maple burn longer and create more sustain heat, softwoods like pine or cedar start fire easier because they quickly ignite. Whatever you never use can return to firewood rack; the best stored outdoor is covered and elevated location.
Step 3: Open Damper
The damper is a simple movable plate inside the flue. It allows the ash and smoke to travel safely up the chimney. If you start a fire with the closed damper, the smoke will no escape route and circle back into the home. Adjust the damper as required with the handle located inside of the chimney. It removes either back or front, left to right, or in a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. You must open it properly by sticking head in the flue and looking upwards, using a flashlight if required.
Step 4: Prime the Flue
Now, gauge the temperature, if you think a rush of cold air then you need to prime the flue in order words, you want to preheat it. Otherwise, the cold draft may cause smoke blow into the room. Moreover, Light a roll of newspaper and hold it against open damper to send warm air into flue. The draft must reverse after a few minutes, makes your fireplace ready for action.
Step 5: Build the Fire
While there’re various ways to build a fire, the CSIA recommends the top-down method, which produces less smoke and requires less tending. Start by donning thick fireplace grabbing and gloves a metal poker. Large pieces of wood of the fireplace in one row, the perpendicular open the fireplace.
Additionally, take mid-sized pieces of wood, and stack five to six rows on top of the base layer in alternating directions. Make sure the tack takes up more half the height of the fireplace. Now add smallest pieces of wood, make sure these pieces are dry. The tiniest bit should be at the top.
Light top of the stack with a single match. The fire travels down, igniting the pieces underneath without prompting. Let’s fire burn for long. Don’t close damper until the fire is entirely out, and all embers have stopped burning.
Step 6: Clean Ashes
The CSIA says you leave a bed of ashes between one to two inches in the fireplace as an insulating layer to burn fire. But when you want to dispose of ashes, proceed with caution. The coals take several hours or many days to completely cold, and ash could still be burning during that time. Using the metal shovel, scoop ashes into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Store outdoors away from house and garages or on decks.