Some months of the year are too cold, and you are forced to keep your fireplace on the whole night. The gas and electric fireplaces are easy to stay on for the entire night as long as there is a constant fuel or power supply. However, The challenge is with the wood-burning fireplace. You have to refuel the wood manually.
This condition can make you have a tiresome night. But there are a few things you can do that will make the wood burn for the whole night. Ensure you minimize the areas heat is escaping and maximize the heat output. This article has comprehensive information on how to keep a wood-burning fireplace for the whole night.
How to Keep Wood-burning Fireplace on the Whole Night
1. Open the damper
This is the immediate part of the neck of the chimney. It controls the airflow in the chimney, including the smoke. Always open the damper when the fire is on to allow fumes and smoke to go outside. Close the damper when the fire is out to prevent the warm air in the house from escaping.
Oxygen supports combustion; you have created more oxygen flow by opening the damper. An open damper gives the chimney low pressure hence drawing more oxygen from the room. This continuous airflow will make the fire be on the whole night.
2. Ensure the chimney is warm
The damper is closed when the fireplace is off. This situation causes cold air to be trapped in the chimney. This cold air is heavy and will press down smoke and hot air trying to escape, eventually putting out the fire. You have to warm up the chimney before starting the fire.
How do I warm up the chimney? It is pretty simple: light one end of a newspaper and holds it under the chimney for a few seconds. The cold air will escape, and you can now light up the fire. A warm chimney will create a continuous flow of fresh air from the room, and the fire will keep on burning.
3. Correct fire build-up
This is the main factor you should consider. How you build your fire will highly affect the period it will stay on. There is the traditional method and the top-down method. The conventional method is to place fire starters at the base and then add small logs. The huge logs will be on the topmost layer.
The traditional method allows the fire to spread from the base upwards. With this method airflow is perfect. The top-down method is the opposite of the traditional method. Start with the huge logs at the bottom, then medium or small logs at the top. Then finish up with the fire starter.
The top-down method will keep the fire burning for longer than the traditional method. The large logs in the traditional method can easily fall and put out the fire. But in the top-down method, the huge logs are used to start the fire.
4. Use dry wood
This is common sense, and fire will burn for long when the wood has low moisture content. Moisture can cause the fire to be out before the huge logs catch fire. Do not add wet wood when the fire is up, and it can still cause it to go out. Use a moisture meter to ascertain the amount of moisture in the wood. Experts suggest the moisture must be below 20%.
Sometimes the wood can have low moisture content but low temperature because it has been staying outside. Such wood is also a big problem for fireplaces. The fire will burn for a long time when you use room-temperature wood. Colder wood will need extra energy to bring it up to combustible condition.
5. Use hardwoods
Hardwoods have compact grains that make them denser than softwoods. Thicker wood will burn for long before it becomes ashes. Research shows that hardwoods will give more heat than softwoods. Some softwoods produce a lot of embers which are fire hazards. Hardwoods also produce less creosote and soot because of the low sap content in the grains.
6. Clean the chimney
Professionals suggest you must clean your chimney at least twice a year. A clean chimney will ensure hot waste air goes out, creating pressure to draw oxygen from the room. The smooth flow of air will make the fire burn for long. Also, clean the previous ash before starting a new fire.
Continuous airflow will keep the fire burning for long in your fireplace. So you have to consider factors that will support constant airflow. Keep the damper open, warm the chimney and clean the chimney to ensure fresh air is drawn inside. Use the top-down method to build a fire. Lastly, use dry wood.