In the new house, we have one of these....
....a wood-burning fireplace.
Shortly after we moved in, we tried out the fireplace.....
....and failed Human 101. :-)
Rich had an awful time lighting the fire. Heck, we couldn't even get the stupid paper to light properly, how did we think the wood would catch fire. It eventually did catch, but it was a very smoky fire and all-in-all a poor fire. Precisely 2 hours after starting it...all the smoke detectors in the house went off. Argh!
After thinking about it a while, we thought maybe it was poor because it was a warm day out and maybe we didn't get a proper draft up the flue. So we decided to try another fire on a colder weekend.
Fire #2....decent fire, but still not great. We were able to light it up fairly well, but it was still smoky and 2 hours later, the smoke detectors went off.
Let me tell you....smoke detectors are VERY loud in a house where there's lots of hard surfaces and no rugs down yet because the sealer on the wood floors still needs to fully cure.
Fire #3....we finally got it right...I think we may have passed Human 101 this time. ;-)
We had called the fireplace store and they recommended lighting two pieces of newspaper right up by the flue first and get that heated up. It was amazing...as soon as the flue was warmed up, you could hear a roaring sound start and it was just all the air rushing up the flue. It would have scared the heck out of me if I didn't know it was going to do that.
This fire was very good and was a very hot fire. Definitely nice and toasty considering it was close to freezing outside. Plus, we were burning with cherry wood - yummy smells!
The only downside so far with the fireplace is that we've determined that every time the blower on the fireplace runs (yes, even though its a wood burning fireplace, it has a rheostat that turns on a fan to blow the hot air around the room), the smoke detectors go off. If we purposely leave the fan off, smoke detectors are quiet. We're having the fireplace guys come take a look at some point because its kind of irritating that we can't use the blower on the fireplace, but the fireplace itself is very nice and cozy.
I'll share some pictures when we get cleaned up a bit and get the Christmas tree up....hopefully this weekend.