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How to Get the Most from a Wood Fire

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

If you haven’t quite achieved master level status for starting and sustaining a great indoor wood fire, we have a few helpful tips just for you.

Location, location

There’s a big difference between starting a fire in a wood stove vs. one in a fireplace. You see, while it’s easier to get one going in a fireplace, it’s easier to keep one going in a wood stove. The latter is true because the stone or metal casing means a cooler temperature than that inside a fireplace, and cooler means longer lasting.


Kindling is anything that catches fire easily but burns quickly. Common kindling materials include newspapers, cardboard, and junk mail! Or you can make your own kindling by filling empty toilet paper rolls or pasta boxes with lint from your clothes dryer. This combination catches fire quickly and burns longer than other kindling.

Know your fuel

Start with larger pieces of wood placed cross-wise over each other. This creates height for the fire for improved air flow.  Place the kindling at the base and on top of the larger logs. This enables sustained high temperatures all around the wood. Finally, place thin branches on top of the pile for added kindling a faster start to your fire.

Air flow

To help keep your fire going, first remove ashes and other debris from your fireplace or wood stove, including under the grill. Be sure that the flue is open and that the chimney is clean – annual cleanings are recommended. Lastly, the lower the outdoor temperature, the longer your fire will last.

No matter how warming and inviting an indoor fire might be, it’s still not warm enough to provide adequate indoor comfort during the heating season. To ensure you have all the heat you need, contact us for a furnace cleaning and inspection. With regular preventive maintenance, you’ll also pay less to heat your home while incurring fewer furnace repairs.


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