Lighting a fireplace can sometimes be frustrating, especially during winter when the temperatures are significantly low. Therefore, embracing various ways of lighting a fireplace should be the way to overcome such challenges. Here is a guide on lighting a fireplace with wood, among other details you may not have known about wood fireplaces.
Lighting a fireplace with wood creates a more naturalized appeal compared to its electric counterparts. A wood-based fireplace resembles the traditional setup of your family or friends gathered around burning wood. Shifting to wood fireplaces will also reduce costs on the electricity bill, especially during winter.
If you’re part of those who enjoy the smell of burning wood, then fireplaces might be the best for you. You will acquire warmth and satisfaction for your cravings in a single package. Wood-based fireplaces are more affordable to acquire than their gas and electric counterparts due to the easy accessibility of wood.
Wood-based fireplaces are environmentally friendly due to the renewal nature of woods. Besides regular shovelling and removing ashes, there’s nothing much required for wood-based fireplaces’ maintenance.
Let’s learn about how to light a fireplace with wood.
Prepare your wood-burning fireplace
Get to know the best wood for your fireplace. Almond, oak and olive woods are best suited for wood-burning fireplaces as they hold heat longer and produce embers.
Gather the essential fireplace tools, such as tongs and shovels, before getting started. Avoid using wet wood as they take longer to light and may significantly produce soot. Also, avoid adding ink-written papers or newspapers into the fireplace as they contribute to the production and accumulation of soot.
Do not use painted wood on the fireplace, as they produce toxic gases. To avoid accidents or destruction, read the manufacturer’s guidelines about lighting the fireplace with wood.
Clean the fireplace
Assuming you hadn’t cleaned your fireplace after the previous session, you should clean it this time before setting up a new burn. Cleaning involves removing all the ashes at the bottom of the fireplace and clearing the airways.
You can use your hand (with gloves), a shovel to remove the ashes, and a stick to unblock the grated airways. Sweep the excess ashes with a fine broom into a dust pan before scrubbing the inside with a cleaning solution and a bristled brush.
Create a layer of woods
The second step to lighting a wood-burning fireplace is creating a layer of a few words, starting with thin sticks, then medium-sized woods to larger ones. You can also have the more delicate wood on top to facilitate an even spread of fire to the others.
Shred plain paper into small pieces on top of the layer and use a small piece of wood to hold them together. The papers are responsible for starting and spreading fire to the thin sticks and then to the fireplace at large.
Light the fire
After setting up the fireplace with wood and papers, use a lighter or matchbox to light the papers from different sides for a maximum spread. Proceed to adjust the woods as the fire lights, ensuring every corner has been comprehensively lit. Lastly, ensure the fireplace has been lit satisfactorily before getting relaxed.
Make regular adjustments
The woods require regular adjustments as they burn. You should check and adjust them appropriately to ensure maximum burning and warmth. You should use more extended and broader logs if you desire a long session at the fireplace. In contrast, short and small-sized woods are best suited for brief fireplace sessions.
Put off the fire
After enjoying hours of peaceful and glowing fire sessions, you shouldn’t leave it burning to prevent fire-related accidents. Depending on when you wish to get done, you can gradually stop adding wood and spread the existing ones evenly for cooling.
Rotate the cooled ashes underneath with the top ones to ensure the fire cools satisfactorily. You can add baking soda or sand to the cooled ashes (optional) for more effective results. Study the fireplace for 5 to 10 minutes to check for any re-ignition before cleaning.
Modernized Fire Starters
Since everything is advancing technologically, the fireplace experts couldn’t afford to be left behind too. The former came up with modernized fire starters, which are manufactured pieces of wood logs made from plant wax, sawdust, and other ignitable materials.
These artificial woods were made for periods when their real counterparts became scarce and lasted longer, just like or more than the others. Most of the fire starters in the market are environmentally friendly and affordable.
However, cooking with artificial fire starters is not advisable as they produce heat at lower temperatures than natural wood. You can get manufactured fire starters from your local store or fireplace dealer shop.