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Building A Top Down Fire

How You Can Build a Top Down Fire Image - Lake Norman NC - SirVent Chimney & Venting ServiceWhen it comes to building and maintaining fires, everyone seems to have different tips or tricks in place. While you may think your method is the most effective, this may not be the case! We would like you to try the top down method when lighting up your next fire. This approach goes against the norm, but proves to be very effective. Give it a try today!

Step-By-Step Guide

Here are the simple steps to follow when building your top down fire.

  1. Start off by stacking your largest pieces of seasoned firewood in the bottom of your fireplace. Your wood should be placed so that the ends are at the front and the back of the fireplace. This will help with overall airflow, ensuring a better burn. Also, be sure that the wood is well-seasoned.
  2. Stack about four or five rows of wood on top of the initial pile. Each row should contain smaller pieces of wood than the previous one. This entire stack should be about the half the height of your fireplace once you are done and, again, the wood should be well-seasoned and very dry to ensure the best burn possible.
  3. Add the smallest pieces of wood and kindling to the top of your wood pile.
  4. An additional optional step is to add some newspapers to the top of your stack. This may make the process work a bit easier, especially if you are new to the top down method.
  5. Light your kindling, and let the flames do the rest!

At this point, the fire should work its way down through the wood pile. What a simple process!

Benefits Of Top Down Fires

You may be wondering why this method is so esteemed by those that utilize it. There are a few main reasons why the top down fire-building process is a favorite of many.

  • Less Smoke: This method typically produces less fumes. Since the fire does not have to work its way through various pieces of fuel, it will not produce as much smoke, allowing for a cleaner burn. This helps keep your home safer, minimizes nasty odors spreading to your furniture, and your friends and family won’t have to worry as much about inhaling harmful toxins.
  • No Refueling: One of the cons of owning a wood-burning fireplace is the need to constantly refuel your fire. With the top down method, there is no need for that! You save yourself a lot of time and hassle while the fire simply works its way down the wood pile. Simply relax and enjoy it!
  • Less Mess: When you have to add wood to a fire on a regular basis, you will eventually deal with the big pieces on top breaking down and collapsing on the fire. This calls for some rearranging and sends up a bunch of embers and smoke. Not with the top down process! The biggest pieces are at the bottom, so all you have to do is wait – no mess involved.

Try building a top down fire today, and be sure to turn to SirVent Chimney and Venting Service for all of your chimney and fireplace needs. Thanks for choosing us!

Building A Top-Down Burn Fire

Finding the most effective methods in fire-building can be a challenge. There are a variety of opinions as to what techniques ensure the most efficient results. Lighting a quick fire that lasts a long time and produces little smoke is the goal most strive for, but obtaining these fires on a consistent basis takes time and practice.Burning a top-down burn fire - Lake Norman NC - SirVent Chimney and Venting Service

A suggested method is the top-down strategy. This technique is said to produce a fire easily with less smoke than you might normally expect. Follow these steps if the top-down method is one you want to try when building your next fire.

  1. Place your biggest pieces of wood down first. Arrange them so that the ends are at the front and back of the stove or fireplace, allowing the air flow to interact in a more efficient manner with the fuel.
  2. Add layers to your wood pile, making each level smaller as you go up. The higher it goes, the smaller the pieces of wood should get. You will want to have right around 5 or 6 layers in total by the time you finish stacking the wood.
  3. Once the wood is stacked, start placing the kindling on top. As with the wood layers, start with the bigger pieces of kindling first, then work your way to the smaller pieces as you near the top of your pile. If you are using a fireplace, make sure that your pile does not extend above the opening of the fireplace.
  4. When this process is complete, simply light the small shavings on the top of your kindling and let the fire work its way down. No more work should be needed and you will be left with an efficient and clean fire to enjoy.Now that you know how to build a top-down fire, you may be wondering why this method works more efficiently. It mostly has to do with allowing your fire to use less energy as it burns through the wood pile. When you start a fire at the bottom, the gases need to work their way through the entire wood pile and end up wasting a lot of energy and heat in the process. This is what causes your fire to smoke.

    Burning from the top down allows things to heat up more slowly and in a more orderly fashion. This allows the surrounding oxygen to intervene in a more efficient manner and causes your fire to burn more naturally, rather than force its way through the wood pile, as it does in the bottom-up process.

    Above all, be sure to be safe when lighting fires. As months grow colder, fires become a more frequent part of people’s lives and they must always be addressed with caution. Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety of your friends and family. SirVent Chimney and Venting Service has the tools and advice you need to get your fireplace ready. Give us a call today!