Cold weather is upon us! Do you need tips for building strong and long-lasting fires in your fireplace? We’ve got what you’re looking for. Our team is here to highlight some popular fire-building techniques. The few we promote are bound to give you great results, so try them out today! Still have questions? Contact the crew at CinderBox Chimney Services right away. We’re always willing to offer advice, services, and professional insight to help our customers.

Is Your Fuel Seasoned?

 a pile of firewoodFirst, you need to use properly seasoned wood. If you store your own, be sure it has been proper time to dry, at least six months in a well-ventilated area. It need to be kept off the ground throughout this time. It also needs to be stored under a sturdy roof that protects it from weather or rainfall.

If you are looking to purchase fuel, then keep some of these key characteristics in mind when picking out logs. Is it old-looking, split at the ends, and darker in color? Great! These are all good signs of properly seasoned firewood. Pieces that are shorter in length and lighter weight are always a better bet. If you really want to test it out, try smacking two pieces together. Do they sound hollow? Then, they are good firewood. All of these signs indicate that the fuel you’re picking has less water in them, and therefore, they will burn more efficiently in your fireplace.

Building Your Fire

One approach to fire building that comes highly recommended is the top-down burn. What you’ll do is start with your biggest logs. Lay them in a line with the their ends at the front and back of the firebox. Then, continue stacking smaller and smaller logs on top until you have around 5 rows of wood. Finally, add your kindling. All that’s left to do is light the wood pile, and you should get a strong, successful burn as the flames work their way down.

Now, if you’d like to take a more traditional route, we’d suggest the teepee approach or the log cabin approach. With each, you start off with a small pile, which you surround with a teepee of kindling. Once you get to the bigger logs, things change up a bit. With a teepee lay, you’ll continue adding the wood in a bigger teepee around the kindling, then you light it. With a log cabin, you’ll lay two logs parallel on either side of the pile, then lay two more on top of those on the opposite sides. Continue this pattern with smaller logs, until you’ve formed a pyramid. Light your wood and you’re good to go!

And remember – no fires should be built unless your chimney has been inspected! If you have yet to schedule your annual maintenance, give our CSIA certified team a call today!