Anyone can build the perfect fire. And when you do, it’s a great sense of achievement when you can get that roaring fire going. If you’ve never started a fire in a fireplace (electric ones don’t count!), then this handy guide is for you.
5 steps – how to build the perfect fire in your fireplace
1. Clean Your Chimney
Before lighting a fire it is a good idea to make sure your chimney is clean, swept and free of any blockages.
A big cause of chimney blockages can be from animal nests or old leaves. Leaving these inside your chimney can result in a smoke-filled house after attempting to light a fire in your fireplace. Call a chimney sweep out to check it, and carry out necessary cleaning.
2. Open the Fireplace Damper
When you leave the fireplace damper shut, and then light a fire, you can fill your entire house with smoke. Make sure you open the damper all the way if you want to avoid this.
3. Prime the Fireplace Flue
If your chimney is built on the exterior of your house, then the chimney flue is probably cold. This means that when you open the damper, the cold air in the flue will come into your warm house.
When you attempt to light a fire during this air sink, this also ends up with smoke coming into your house instead of up your chimney. To combat this, you need to prime the flue by warming it up. To warm up the flue you can light a roll of newspaper and hold it up the damper opening for a few minutes. If you have a gas fireplace, turn on the gas and light the pilot light without any wood in the fireplace; this will cause your flue to warm up within minutes.
4. Build an Ash Bed
In your fireplace having a 1 or 2inch ash bed helps to insulate the fireplace and create hotter fires. When lighting a fire in a new fireplace, this can be a problem. However, you can rectify this by taking ashes from an outdoor grill and placing them in the fireplace to help build the ash bed.
Always remember that a small ash bed is preferable, too much ash is bad. So be sure to clean the ashes out every so often.
5. Build the Fire Upside Down
There are many different types of fire building methods out there. If you have a particular way of building the perfect fire, feel free to stick to it. But, if you’re looking for something different, or one that lasts hours, try using the ‘upside-down’ fire build – this is the ultimate way to build the perfect fire.
This fire building method reverses the commonly known sequence of putting tinder and small kindling at the bottom and large logs on top. Start off by stacking the large logs at the bottom and adding smaller ones on top. Top this off with bunched-together newspaper and other tinder, then light it from the top.
As smoke won’t pass through the cold logs, the fire in your fireplace will burn cleaner. In addition to this, you don’t have to do that much to keep it going!
Now that you’ve built the perfect fire, it’s time to get cosy next to the lit fireplace: pick out a good book, stick on your favourite film or TV show, and make some hot chocolate whilst you sink into a comfy chair.
Contact Burning Inspirations
If you’re interested in installing a traditional or contemporary fireplace in your home, please get in touch with our team today on 01908 507 027 or by filling out our online contact form, and we’ll be in touch.