When you know the secrets of burning wood, you can easily build warm and cozy fires that burn longer and cleaner all winter long. Over our years of providing chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to the residents of the Nashville area, Ashbusters has been sharing these fireplace secrets with our customers because we want everyone to enjoy beautiful, safe, and long-lasting fires every winter. You might be surprised to learn that the way you were taught to build a fire by placing the larger logs on the top is not really the best method. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), putting the largest logs at the bottom can give you the warmest fires that will last for hours. This type of fire is known as a top-down fire, and we would like to tell you how to build one to help you get the most out of your fireplace this winter.
Start building with the largest pieces of firewood.
To get started on your top-down fire, you will place the biggest logs on the floor of your firebox. Make sure the ends of the firewood are facing the front and back of the firebox and not lying parallel to the fireplace opening.
Build the next levels with smaller logs.
The next step is stacking levels of smaller pieces of wood on top of the largest logs, and make sure that each level is smaller than the level below it. Continue to add firewood until you reach half of the height of your fireplace.
Add the kindling.
Starting with the biggest pieces of kindling, stretch them out across the top of your stack. You will want to keep adding more layers of kindling until the stack is just below the opening of your fireplace.
Get the fire started.
You are now ready to light your kindling, and this should be easily ignited with a single match or the flame from your automatic lighter. You can also light the end of a rolled up newspaper to use as a torch to get your fire started.
Ashbusters loves top-down fires because they do not produce as much smoke, and you will not have to worry about the larger pieces of firewood collapsing into the smaller pieces, which pushes ashes and embers into your living space. We also recommend that you only burn seasoned firewood that has been dried for at least six months after being cut. If you have any fireplace maintenance, repair, or installation needs, contact us to schedule an appointment for our experienced service.