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The very first thing to do is actually forgotten more often than people care to admit. It is to open the damper

Ingredients to Start the Fire

Tinder: Crumpled up newspaper makes the best tinder. You can also use small twigs, pine needles or pinecones.

Kindling: Large twigs, small branches and small splits of wood anywhere from ¼” to 1” in thickness will do. This is the most important ingredient for building a good fire and usually the most over-looked.

Fuel: Use only well- seasoned hardwood. If you have to burn softwoods, be certain they are well-seasoned. Look for split, dry wood that has been stacked for up to a year. Loose bark and cracks in the ends are signs of seasoned wood

Starting the Fire

  • Arrange two small-to-medium sized pieces of firewood on the grate and place some crumpled up newspaper for tinder between the logs.
  • Now cover the tinder with several pieces of kindling. Be generous with the kindling – it’s the most important element in starting your fire.
  • Now, place tow more pieces of firewood on top of the kindling and two more at right angles to these two. Leave some space between the logs for air circulation.

Warm Up the Fire

For fireplaces, warm up the flue by holding a piece of burning rolled-up newspaper in the (opened) damper region for 10-15 seconds. This helps the flue establish a good draft. Then light the tinder. Within a few minutes, you should have a nice, hot, roaring fire.

To Do’s (Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for your wood stove or insert)

  • Use seasoned hardwood.
  • Use commercial fire starters if you like. They eliminate the need for tinder and reduce the amount of kindling required.
  • Use charcoal lighter fluid or other flammable liquids. These are extremely dangerous. (Gel fire starters are okay.)

Don’ts (Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for your wood stove or insert)

  • Don’t burn artificial logs in a wood stove, unless they are specifically designed for wood stove use. Artificial logs can dirty the chimney much faster than regular wood and can be hazardous in certain situations.
  • Don’t burn treated lumber, trash or anything other than wood in the fireplace or wood stove.

Efficient Burning Techniques

  • The key is to burn small, hot fired using hardwood that will minimize creosote accumulation and
  • Maximize heat output.
  • Keep fires burning hot with flames, not smoldering with a lot of smoke.
  • Be careful not to add too much firewood. In a fireplace, keep the top of the flames visible below
  • the fireplace opening. In a woodstove, keep the flames confined to the wood stove itself.
  • With glass doors, keep the doors wide open with the screen closed for a good half hour after
  • starting the fire. When you see the fire is burning well, close the doors and set any draft
  • controls.
  • It’s better to add smaller loads more often than to cram in a lot of wood trying to get an all-day
  • burn.
  • When you’re ready to put out a fire, separate the logs by moving them to the side of the
  • fireplace or stand them on end in back of the fireplace. Close the screen or glass doors tightly,
  • but don’t close the damper until you’re sure the fire and coals are completely out.

About ABC Cleaning, Inc. of Orlando, FL

Serving Central Florida since 1992, ABC Cleaning, Inc. has been the acknowledged leader in air duct cleaning, chimney cleaning and dryer vent cleaning. We’re NADCA certified, we consistently invest in and have the most modern equipment and utilize the latest technology available with the best-trained service technicians in all of Orlando. If you need help deciding whether to replace or repair faulty ducts, please contact us at ABC. We provide quality HVAC service throughout Orlando and the surrounding communities.

Please give us a call today at (407) 381-2120. We are here to help!

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