Are wimpy fires getting you down? A potential problem with increased home efficiency

There’s an unsaid competition in my family to see who can build a better fire in the fireplace.  Struggling to get a fire started can be embarrassing, and letting one go out will put you at the center of jokes for the rest of the night.

If you are scratching your head lately as to why your fires are not taking off, you may be considering the traditional culprits — Is the wood dry? Is there enough kindling? Is the chimney flue open? But there’s a new, modern reason that you might not have considered — sealed windows and doors can hamper the circulating air in your home, making it difficult to properly aerate your fire.

Every good fire starter knows that a fire needs oxygen and a way for the smoke and gases to escape. When smoke and gases travel up the chimney flue, it sucks air from inside your home to fuel the fire.  This air is then used in the combustion and turned into the gases that go up your flue, and so on and so on.  If there isn’t available air inside your home, the cycle stops and the fire goes out. Simply cracking the window while you are burning your fire will supply more oxygen to your home and your fire, and just may be the answer to your wimpy fire problems.

Looks like its time to invite the family over.


By Jesse Peralta

Jesse Peralta

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