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How to Start a Faster Wood Fire in a Fireplace

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fireplace bellows,fireplaces,wood-burning fireplaces

It’s always good to know how to get a fire going in the fireplace, but wouldn’t you know how to get it going even faster now that the weather’s cold?

Starting a campfire is one thing, but starting a fire in a wood-burning fireplace is something else entirely and requires certain steps if you want to warm up your home without the wait. Here are a few key tips that will help you speed things up when the cold sets in:

1. Keep dry kindling stacked and ready.  

Kindling is a must, but you don’t want to rely on it completely because it’s usually hard to come by – particularly if you’re splitting it yourself. Keep it dry so it catches faster and you’ll find you’ll need less of it to get the bigger logs going.

2. Save your newspapers.

Newspaper is best for starting kindling. It’s cheap, readily available and starts quickly. Untreated cardboard is also good, but more difficult to stock. Glossy paper and cardboard are less than ideal, and some boxes are even treated with flame-retardant chemicals that make them nearly useless for the task.

3. Open the flue.

Fire needs oxygen to breathe and so your fireplace flue should be partly open to let air pass through. If strong winds are swirling in from the chimney, just damp it a bit to get the right amount of airflow.

4. Shovel out the ash.

A thick layer of ash from previous fires will more easily smother your paper and kindling. Keep an ashcan handy and shovel out the firebox before starting your new fire.

5. Use dry wood.

“Green” or wet wood just won’t burn. Keep your woodpile under a tarp or shelter so you always have a dry supply.

BONUS OPTION: Use a bellows.

If you really want to get your fire going fast, don’t be afraid to use a fireplace bellows to stoke the flames. They may be old-school, but they’re still around for a reason.

This large-plate steel fireplace from United States Stove Company is the largest in its line and is EPA-certified in all 50 states. 

Blue Rhino offers this top-selling fireplace bellows in hardwood with a 15-inch cast nozzle. 

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