Q&A Fireplace starved for air?

QandA Posted By QandA, Oct 5, 2005 at 2:20 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    We just purchased a new house that has a built in wood burning fireplace. Can you give us any tips on how to burn a good fire. We know how to build the fire, but can't seem to get it to keep burning for long without slightly opening our deck door. Anything you could tell us would be much appreciated. We really enjoy your "Hearth News" and web page. Thank a lot. Jo-Ann


    Sounds like you have the basics right....especially if you've read the fire starting and tending tips at https://www.hearth.com/what/specific.html.

    However, it sounds like your fireplace is starved for air, and no amount of skill in fire tending will make up for this. An open fireplace sucks a tremendous amount of air up the chimney...this air must come from somewhere...In many cases, the house or room cannot supply enough air. The result is a smoky, hard to start, or hard to keep going fire.

    When you open the door, you let in air which allow the fire to burn and chimney to draft upward.

    My suggestions are:

    1. Install an outside air intake in the fireplace. If it in on an outside wall this should be fairly easy to do. Ask a mason or chimney sweep.
    2. Install glass doors on the fireplace - This will help some since the doors can be shut at certain stages of the fire, allowing the use of less air.
    3. Install a wood burning stove or insert into fireplace...This also need much less air.

    Link: How to start a wood fire
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