It’s winter time, which means a nice, cosy fire is just the thing to keep the cold at bay. Although, with a wood burning fireplace, there are some steps you have to take to ensure you enjoy your fireplace to its fullest potential, and keep yourself warm by a brilliant fireplace.
Here are some tips that you can follow when you’re starting your first wood burning fireplace fire.
A clean chimney is a happy chimney
This one is important, especially if your fireplace hasn’t been used in a while. Making sure the chimney is clean and doesn’t have any blockages, will ensure you won’t have to deal with a smoking fire, and at worst, a chimney fire. You should have your chimney swept at least once a year.
Don’t damper, yet
Make sure the damper is wide open when you start your fire, as the oxygen helps start and feed the fire. You can control the damper by moving it towards to back of the firebox to close it, and towards you to open it. If you want a slower burn, you can decrease the damper opening. You shouldn’t close your damper any more than half while the fire is burning.
Burn the best wood
One of the most important points of fireplace ownership is burning the best wood. It is essential that you only use split, seasoned hardwood to ensure you get the best results from your fire. Whether you chop and store your firewood, or buy it from a retailer, make sure the firewood has been split so that it can dry adequately, and that it has been seasoned for at least 12 months. You should be burning wood with a moisture content between 15-20%. You can purchase moisture meters to test the moisture levels of your firewood.
It’s all in the technique
Getting the preparation right is the best way to guarantee a bright and blazing fire. To start, get your firelighters and kindling lit, then place thicker pieces of wood on the fire. When this small fire is well lit, you can start placing thicker pieces of wood around it, but be sure to keep a space between your logs, to make sure you don’t smother your fire.
A little ash goes a long way
Once you have used your new wood burning fireplace a few times, you’ll notice an ash bed starting to form. Don’t skim or clean away this ash! Ash is a great insulator and can help to make your fire even hotter, as it won’t have to contend with a cold surface. If you find that the ash bed is about to overflow into the log pan, you can skim away the top layer to create more room.
If you need more information about wood burning fireplaces, or where you can find the best one for your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
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