Fire Care Tips
Sitting in front of a warm fire is about as good as it gets. In addition to providing much-needed heat, a fireplace also creates mood and ambience. Although you could throw some logs on the fire and call it done, the truth is that burning a fire requires some attention to detail. The bottom line is that with a few tips listed, you can have a more efficient and effective fire to enjoy.
For starters, it is important that the firewood be arranged properly. While this aspect of burning a fire may not seem important, it is. Therefore, you want to arrange the small pieces of wood, placing them in a crisscross pattern. With this, the wood will burn quickly due to combustion air reaching each piece of firewood simultaneously. However, the large pieces of firewood need to be placed so they are tight and compact, allowing them to burn slow. Additionally, when it comes time to put more wood on the fire, we recommend you add two to three pieces rather than one to help reflect heat with each other, thus maintaining a perfect fire.
The key with a fire is to understand that it will not provide a steady flow of heat. Instead, fireplace fires burn in cycles, which begin with each new set of logs placed in the firebox. Then, the burning cycle is complete after the wood has burned. Typically, a good fire will burn between three and eight hours, depending on the wood used, amount of combustion air, size of firebox, and the arrangement of the wood. The best thing is to plan using your fireplace according to your family's lifestyle, using it for snuggling on the house or heating when people are home.
For a flash fire, which is when only a small amount of wood is burned but quickly, this would be used when you want to remove chill from the air. For this, the more slow-burning fire is eliminated. The best way to start a flash fire is to rake coal in the direction of the air inlets, placing a number of small wood pieces both on and behind the pile. Next, stack your kindling wood in a crisscross pattern and open the air inlet.
If you want to enjoy your fire longer, perhaps using it in a stove to keep a house warm during the night, the coals would be raked again toward the air inlet. However, the difference from a flash fire is that with an extended fire, you would use larger pieces of wood, placing them into the firebox. In addition, these wood pieces should be placed closer together so both flame and heat cannot penetrate through. The result is a much longer burn cycle.
Finally, once you have enjoyed your fire, you would need to clean out old ash. Most of the newer models of fireplaces and stoves have special ash pans, making the process easy. However, you may find that your fireplace/stove has a plug that when lifted, lets the ashes fall into the ash pan. Most importantly, once you remove the ashes, make sure they are completely out and not discarded where they could start a fire.