How to start a draft in a fireplace
On Apr 12, 5:54 am, mm wrote:
Someone told me a good way to start a draft in a fireplace it to take
one sheet of a newspaper, wad it and roll it at the same time so it
will burn well and is tall with a "handle" at the base, light the top,
and hold it up inside the fireplace, close to the chimney.
When I do this, everything is fine. Then I light the paper below the
kindling which is below the logs, and even the first bit of smoke goes
up the chimney.
When I skip this part, lighting a sheet of newspaper near the chimney,
there is no current up the chimney and after I light the fire, the
smoke goes out into the room and eventually up the stairs to the first
floor. Even then, if there is not too much flame, I can do the
newspaper in the chimney thing and start the air flow up the chimney,
and it sucks the smoke out of the basement room, into the fire and up
But someone told me the newspaper thing is not a good idea. True? and
if true, why not?
It seems to work well.
In my case, I have a steel fireplace with galvanized chimney, and an
iron log rack.
It would appear that you have a problem, it could be a badly designed
chimney, a chimney that needs sweeping, a chimney needs to project at
least 3.5 feet above the roof peak to draw properly, a chimney that
is the wrong size for the stove, diameter too big or too small, a
chimney that is starved of air,
From a practical view, a chimney that is inside the main fabric of the
building and is protected from the cold and wind and is properly
insulated will always work better.
When lighting a fire, the chimney that is insulated will start
When lighting the fire, the initial heat has to lift a plug of cold
up and out of the chimney, some 16 feet of cold air will be pushed
upwards and out, an easy air supply and a quick to warm chimney
will make life a lot more pleasant.
A fire that has a direct supply of outside air is cheaper to run,
in as much as it is not burning air you v'e paid to heat, and it will
stop any drafts in the room.
On the other hand, a fire that burns too quickly, will burn cold.
So, a fire needs a controlled air supply to burn at its hottest.
On tick over, a fire that has a cold flue, or that struggles to find
air to burn will go out sooner.