How to Build the Perfect Fireplace Fire | Columbia Heating & Cooling
Written by Columbia HVAC

How to Build the Perfect Fireplace Fire

Constructing the perfect fire can be difficult. It seems that even under the most perfect conditions – ample kindling, dry wood, adequate air flow – a successfully roaring fire takes a lot of time, as well as plenty of poking and prodding.

It’s time to forget what you’ve learned in Boy or Girl Scouts and try a new method that will change the way you build fires. The “Upside Down” fire is the exact opposite construction of the classic teepee fire method. Give the Upside Down method a try and achieve long-lasting fires – perfect for those long winter days.

The Upside Down Fire

1. Start by placing the largest logs at the bottom of your fireplace or wood stove. Ensure there is absolutely no space between the logs.

2. Place a second layer of smaller logs on top of the layer of larger logs. Again, ensure there is absolutely no space between the logs.

3. At the top of the stack, place strips of crumpled paper and 3-5 pieces of fire starter or oil sticks. Make sure that paper strips are crumpled or slightly bent and prop fire starters up so that the fire will start more easily.

4. Light the fire starter and let burn. It may take a bit longer to start producing large flames, but be patient. You shouldn’t have to touch it for about three hours.

The Upside Down method may sound strange to the seasoned fire builder, but it actually has many advantages, including:

More Heat
The flames from the top warms the air in the flue and creates a more efficient current of air for cross-ventilation.

Little to No Smoke
Because the air in the flue is heated faster, less smoke is produced and therefore less backdraft smoke will enter your home.

No Management
This fire will burn for up to seven hours if properly constructed. You start with much more wood than with a traditional fire building method, but this eliminates having to add wood later.

If your fireplace or furnace is in need of service, Columbia Heating and Cooling is here to help! Give us a call today to schedule a tune-up. We’re available for all of your heating and cooling needs, even in the middle of winter. Stay warm!