The ideal fireplace emits just the appropriate amount of enduring heat into a space with a smooth and even burn. Using starting logs properly is one method to achieve it. But how exactly do you use this material to set up your fireplace?
Follow these instructions to use starter logs to start a fire in a fireplace:
- Check the flue by opening the fireplace damper.
- Prepare the kindling, starter logs, and logs.
- Use a method of your choice to arrange the logs on an iron grate.
- Install the fireplace screen. Enjoy the comfort!
Not all important factors should be taken into account when preparing a fireplace. To create a comfortable atmosphere and enjoy the warmth of your fireplace throughout the cold season, health and safety should be your top priorities. Consider the type of wood you’ll use in your fireplace as well.
How To Use A Starter Log To Light A Fire In A Fireplace
When the cold weather arrives, making sure your fireplace is ready will guarantee that your family can spend time around it safely and comfortably. However, it’s crucial that your firebox is in good condition, clean, and devoid of too many cold ashes before lighting a fire.
Follow these simple guidelines for hours of relaxation and safety while listening to the snap and crackle of fire!
Fireplace Damper Needs To Be Opened
A damper is a tiny hole or vent in a fireplace made of heat-resistant metal. When it is open, the smoke and gases can escape through the flue and out the chimney. To ensure sufficient ventilation and avoid smoke and hazardous fumes invading your home, open the damper before lighting a fire.
There are numerous ways to verify if your chimney’s damper is open, depending on the kind it has (throat and top-mount dampers, for example).
When you see a rod hanging low or a knob (screw-style rotary control) turned counterclockwise, a throat damper of the conventional type is closed. Push the rod as far as it will go or turn the knob clockwise to release the damper.
However, if you have a top-mount damper, also known as a top-down damper, you should be able to see a metal chain tied to a hook in or near the fireplace. This kind is spring-loaded and positioned like a cap on top of the chimney. Remove the chain from the hook to release the damper.
Examine And Preheat The Chimney Flue
It’s equally necessary to preheat the chimney flue before lighting your fireplace. This is because while it isn’t in use, chilly air fills it up. Due to its weight, cold air moves downhill as opposed to the rising warm air produced by burning wood.
A flue is a duct that allows combustion-related gases to leave your house. This vertical conduit joins the firebox and the top of the chimney and is typically constructed of concrete, terracotta clay, or stainless steel.
Roll three or more newspapers into a log, light one end, and place the log near to the flue under the damper for a few minutes to totally reverse the chimney draft. This will prime the flue.
The Starter Logs, Kindling, And Logs Will Have To Be Prepared
After doing the preliminary work, it’s time to set up and organize the forest. You can efficiently start your fire by using the proper fuel. The numerous types and applications of wood fuel for fireplaces are described below:
Firestarters And Starter Logs
You should have a supply of starter logs on hand if you find it difficult to start a fire in your fireplace. These simple-to-light, green building materials are constructed of waxes, cellulose, and post-industrial sawdust.
Stack two to three pieces of wood on top of a starter log before lighting the ignition strip or the seam of the box where an arrow is normally marked.
You can use tinder like cotton balls, birch bark, dried pine needles, and dry grass in the absence of starter logs. It is easily burnable but only produces a dim flame.
An ignitable substance that is a little bit larger than tinder is kindling. As the primary fuel begins to catch fire, using kindling like small twigs, fatwood, and cedar bark can assist keep the fire going.
The best and longest-lasting fires with the least amount of smoke are made with firewood, especially kiln-dried wood.
Green wood has a high moisture content and shouldn’t be utilized in the fireplace as opposed to dry and seasoned firewood. It is dangerous because it emits a lot of smoke and accelerates the accumulation of creosote over time.
Organize The Logs Using The Selected Technique
The log cabin and top-down methods are the two typical ways to arrange the firewood in your hearth.
Log Cabin Approach
- A minimum of six inches should separate the two pieces of firewood that are placed parallel to one another.
- Place some firestarter between the two pieces of firewood, such as newspaper and twigs.
- Along the base of the firewood, spread some kindling out to allow for nice airflow.
- Create a criss-cross pattern by piling more fuel wood perpendicularly on top of one another to make at least three layers.
- Start the fire in your log cabin from the bottom up.
- Sort your firewood into the following categories: large, medium, and little.
- Put the largest piece of wood parallel to the iron grate.
- Place the medium logs parallel to the top of the first layer.
- If desired, construct the third layer using smaller logs that run parallel to the first layer.
- Light the pile by placing some kindling and tinder on top of it.
Place The Fireplace Screen
The inescapable flying sparks and embers that result from burning wood make lingering close to the fireplace risky, even if it is so soothing. As a result, you need to install a fireplace screen.
You are now prepared to savor the inviting warmth!
Why Do My Logs Not Burn?
Planning and technique are required to start a fire in your fireplace. Some potential explanations for why your wood won’t catch fire right away include the following:
- You’re burning unseasoned or insufficiently seasoned firewood.
- Your wood contains more moisture than 20%.
- You’re starting too soon with big logs.
- Your firewood has been moistened before use despite being seasoned.
- There isn’t enough airflow. Use an iron grate, open the damper, and heat the flue.
- Your fireplace’s floor has a very thick layer of accumulated old ash, or your chimney has an excessive amount of soot buildup.
- There is a lot of humidity inside.
The Ideal Kind Of Wood For Your Fireplace
All wood is not created equally. Some materials have a propensity to burn slowly and slowly catch fire, whilst others burn quickly and easily. Some create cooler burns, while others result in hotter burns.
The most popular but excellent hard firewood to light your fireplace is listed below to assist you in making your fuel purchase. And by “best,” we mean cost-effective, energy-efficient, and ecologically secure.
Oak is often regarded as the best firewood. It is regarded as hardwood and is widely available in the US. Despite being difficult to ignite, it burns for the longest time and reaches the highest temperature once it has caught fire.
Bur oak, red oak, and white oak are all great fuel, according to Utah State University Forestry Extension, even if red oak is not the wood with the highest BTU content (24 BTUs per cord).
This tree’s wood is also excellent for use in fires. When properly seasoned, it burns slowly and steadily like oak. The lowest of all the hardwoods, a red maple burns at only 18.7 BTUs per cord.
Birch does not endure as long as oak or maple, despite the fact that it is categorized as a hardwood. The lovely flame it produces is what distinguishes it as one of the best fuels. Additionally, the black birch in particular burns at 26.8 BTUs per cord.
This wood is simple to split, and it burns steadily at a remarkable 24.2 BTUs per cord. It is well known for producing little smoke as well.
For outdoor fires, such as those in backyard fire pits and outdoor campfires, you can utilize softwood from pine and fir trees. However, because it tends to smoke up your home and leave more ash residue, this sort of wood is not recommended for indoor fireplaces.
Keep in mind that high density and high dryness are characteristics of good firewood.
You should install your fireplace with the utmost safety precautions—and common sense—to keep your home cozy during the entire cold season. Gases produced by using a fireplace can be dangerous if inhaled in excessive amounts. Be extra vigilant since the source of fire and the source of delightful warmth may both be present.