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Pplease come and tell me everything I need to know about having a fireplace :-D

(8 Posts)
sweetheart Tue 25-Nov-14 16:10:19

We are moving house later this week and I am very excited that our new home has a fireplace. Neither dh or myself have ever lived in a house with a fireplace so please tell me anything and everything I need to know..... ie a friend of ours has a little humitidy device to test his logs, does everyone have one?
How do you season logs?
I've heard lots of debate regarding hard wood Vs soft wood - which is which and which is better?

and anything else...
Thanks

Nepotism Tue 25-Nov-14 16:48:45

Do you know whether the chimney has been swept? If not, get it done and the chimney checked out before lighting your first fire. Mine had a pillow stuffed up it!

As for logs, ask people for recommendations.

Finally, make sure you have a good supply of red wine. It's impossible to sit by a fire without it!

specialsubject Tue 25-Nov-14 17:28:05

first, is it an open fire? If so they are incredibly inefficient, which is why everyone has logburners now.

You need a lined and tested chimney. You need a HETAS-registered installer who will notify building regs. You need an annual chimney sweep.You need space to store the wood, energy to chop and carry it, five mins a day to clean and lay the fire, the same to do the extra vacuuming it produces. If you have kids you need a secure fireguard.

no, you don't need a gadget. Wood needs to be seasoned (i.e. dried) for a year or two,reputable suppliers guarantee this. To season logs, put them in a covered place which has airflow for a year or two. They do much better if put in the sun in the summer and covered at night. Plenty of exercise.

Theorientcalf Tue 25-Nov-14 20:10:10

Totally agree about them being inefficient. My parents had a fire and unless we sat in front of it we couldn't feel the heat as it goes up the chimney!

They've since had a wood burning stove put in and it's lovely, really hot.

TheAuthoress Tue 25-Nov-14 20:49:56

We moved into our house last September and I was very excited that it had an open fire smile I have also heard that they are very inefficient compared to burners, but mine keeps the whole downstairs (three bed semi) nice and toasty. I use smokeless coal, which may burn hotter than logs.

You need to have it swept as said above. I have a coal bunker, companion set, fire guard and coal scuttle and I use firelighters and kindling to light it. I have a coal man who comes out when I phone and puts the coal directly in the bunker for me. I've also seen big stacks of logs that have been delivered, you should google to see what's available in your area.

It's lovely having a roaring fire on a freezing cold day, DS loves it when he comes home from nursery and I've lit the fire!

sweetheart Wed 03-Dec-14 11:06:54

Thanks all, I completely forgotten I'd posted this! We're all moved now and enjoyed several fires, it keeps the house toasty warm. Dh has said he wants to replace the open fire with a log burner but the fire is just so lovely. Perhaps I'll change my mind in a few months when I've spent a small fortune on logs!

RCheshire Wed 03-Dec-14 12:06:24

Last place had both open fire and multi stove. Current place has two open fires. At some point I will replace one of those with a stove. Stoves are of course much more efficient but open fires are arguably more atmospheric. If you need to buy wood in then aim to buy it in as large a quantity as you can and you generally get better value from palettes than bags (less wastage in how they stack). Clean chimney, co2/smoke detector, decent fireguard if kids.
I do wonder whether we'll go a full circle again with log burners... When I was little we all had stoves, ranges and open fires. Once more started to get mains gas everyone loved the simplicity and one less chore in the mornings and evenings. Bit different for those of us such on oil where you want a bit of flexibility in the fuel you use.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 04-Dec-14 06:33:22

We have an open fire but only light it at the weekend. Our house is very well insulated and warm, so it's decorative rather than heat giving. That said, it gives out much more heat than the open fire in our last house - not sure why.

We have toyed with the idea of getting a log burner instead, but am not sure it's worth it given that we don't have that many fires. And I do love watching the flames.

Makd sure you've got a CO2 detector, a fireguard, and somewhere to store the wood.

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