Fireplace 101 for Texans:

Texas—the Lone Star State—is known as one of the most temperamental locations when it comes to its weather. As Dallas natives, we know all too well that one day it could be a scalding 102 degrees and the next—snow! Okay, that might be a bit dramatic…but you get the point! Make sure you’re prepared for any surprise winter weather by learning the basics on how to properly use your indoor fireplace.

  1. Make sure your chimney is clean and free of blockages

There is nothing worse than wanting to start a fire in your fireplace and finding an animal nest or old leaves blocking your chimney. If you haven’t checked to make sure your chimney is clean before lighting a fire, your home could be turned into a smoke-filled mess, or worse. Don’t be the smoky house on the street! Hire a Dallas chimney sweep professional to come inspect and clean your chimney before lighting a fire in your fireplace.

  1. Open the damper

Open the what?! This is a term that many have heard of but often forget about in the excitement of finally using their fireplace. It’s a common mistake to not open  the damper before starting your indoor fire which will leave you with a house full of smoke.

Needless to say, forgetting to open the damper can put a real damper on those cozying by the fire plans…

  1. Prime the flue

If the chimney stack for your indoor fireplace is located outside, then odds are that the chimney flue is colder than the indoor room temperature. Make sure that you open the flue before starting a fire so that it can adjust to room temperature.

If the flue is too cold when you light your indoor fireplace, the smoke from the fire will not go up into the flue and out the chimney, but rather sink down and flow into your home.

  1. Lighting a fire in the fireplace

If you’ve made it this far, great job! This is the fun part! You just need the perfect technique to light the fire in your fireplace. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to a cozy indoor fire!

    • Crumple up balls of newspaper and place them on the bottom level of your fireplace. If you prefer to read the news online, you can purchase a fire starter log and skip the next step!
    • On top of the crumpled newspaper, lay thin dry strips of wood lengthwise or in a crossed pattern. This allows the fire to really take hold after lighting the newspaper
    • Once this is lit, arrange two bigger logs on the sides of the kindling and stack another two perpendicular to the base logs. This allows for the fire to catch at all optimal angles.
      • If you find the fire is having a hard time catching, try blowing lightly onto the fire at a safe distance. This helps the fire to breathe and catch onto the fire logs faster. Never use accelerants on an indoor fire.

And there you have it! You’ve successfully lit a fire in your indoor fireplace. There’s nothing to be scared of when it comes to using the fireplace in your home when you’ve prepared accordingly. Let Chimney Sweep help you get your fireplace ready for the chilly Texas weather ahead! Give us a call at 214-363-8751 or request your free quote online here.

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