Unless you’re a boy scout, your method for building a fire is most likely just to throw some logs on the fireplace grate & light them. Growing up, I watched my brother & my father (yes, both boy scouts) carefully stack & move the logs in our fireplace to achieve the perfect flame. We always had controlled-but-nicely-roaring fires and below, you will find out how to build a fire in a fireplace just like they did!
Before You Build It …
- Make sure that your fireplace has been adequately cleaned. It’s a good idea to have your chimney swept before you start building fires in it for the season. In the off-season, animal nests, leaves, and the remains of last year’s fires can create blockages & will result in a smoke-filled house.
- Open the damper! If you don’t, you’ll fill your entire house with smoke instead of with the crackling warmth of a cozy fire.
- If your chimney is built on the outside of your house, the chimney flue will be cold (assuming it is cold outside). When you open the damper, the cold air in the flue will sink because warm air is lighter than cold. If you try to light a fire immediately after opening the damper, you’ll still end up with smoke coming into the house. To counteract this, you’ll need to “prime the flue” by warming it up. If you have a fireplace with a gas pipe to supplement your wood burning, turn on the gas and light the pilot light without any wood in the fireplace. Your flue will warm up in a matter of minutes. If you don’t have that slight advantage, simply light a roll of newspaper and hold it up the damper opening for a few minutes. When you feel the draft reverse, you’ll know the flue is primed!
Build A “Normal” Fire
There are many
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