Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's finally cold enough

Yeah it's finally cold enough to light the fire place.

As much as I dread the end of summer & the start of the cold weather, the one thing I do look forward to is lighting the fire place. When X first built the chimney, we envision it to be an open fire place - you know some place to roast chestnuts.

Aesthetically it is better, watching the open flames etc. But it's not practical. Think soot & smoke everywhere. Not to mention, having to keep an eye on your toddler all the time. Plus it actually doesn't heat up very well. So in the end, we decided to buy a wood burning stove instead.

When we first moved in March 2007, we haven't yet installed our heating system so we had to rely on this stove to heat up part of the house. It did a pretty decent job. There were nights I just plonked myself in front of it.

It took me quite a while before I got the hang of lighting it. Since we don't ever need one in Singapore, I'm a novice at this. All those outdoor camping activities I had in school didn't seem to help very much. Trust me, it's not as easy as striking a match.

Here's what I do :

1. Have enough combustible materials at the bottom - newspapers, junk mail, pine cones (these are great), twigs etc

2. Next stack about 2 bigger pieces of wood across from each other to make sure you don't suffocate the fire meaning you have to stack them with enough air to circulate

3. Then light the bottom pile. Once the fire starts going & by the time the bigger pieces are being burnt, you can slowly feed the fire by adding more wood

But if you don't do it right, that stubborn fire is just not going to start.

Since we have a closed stove, it's easy to regulate the vents to control the fire - more air means a bigger flame thus heating faster but also burning up more wood, less air decreases the flame & burn up less wood (I usually do that just before I go to bed).

So there you have it. How to light a fireplace 101. Now I'm going to make myself a cup of coffee & sit in front of it to watch the flames.


Tsu Lin + + said...

That is a gorgeous fireplace, PF. These wood burners are a rage here (in place of an "original fireplace") esp when they renovate a period property (full of charms but lack an original fireplace) - they will put osmething like this in its place.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

Yay autumn! Yay boots! Yay oven! ^_^

petite fleur said...

tsu lin - so they do this in england too. It really is much more practical.

rita - yay boots & yay turtle necks

SIG said...

That is a lovely fireplace. :)