Home Improvement: Fireplaces and StovesAsk a Question

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A fireplace with a screen

Fireplace TipsAll my life, I have lived in a home where the heat was supplemented by a fireplace. Typically, fireplaces have a bad rap of letting more heat out than they produce, but there are a few ways to offset that.

 

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Handmade Fireplace LogsTo make handmade fireplace logs, all you need is a large amount of newspaper, a wooden dowel, a few drops of dish soap and some water.

 

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Citrus Peels for a Great Smelling FireTo make your house smell great, save all your citrus peels and dry them. They can be used for kindling in your fireplace. They contain flammable oils and they smell just great when used for kindling in your fire!

 

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Homemade Fire StartersRecycle used toilet and kitchen rolls, fill with newspapers.

 

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Firewood TipsI always order my firewood delivery as early in the season as possible, that ensures the best prices before wood becomes scarce. I shop around for the best price, make sure that the wood is split to the length I need.

 

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Inexpensive Fire Starter IdeasWe burn wood, and fire starters are not cheap. My husband laughs at me for some of my cheap ideas, but they work! I use the below in addition to the twigs and leaves and bark that are in the wood pile.

 

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Egg Carton Fire StartersWe are avid campers. Instead of buying those expensive fire starters, we make our own. Take a cardboard egg carton, fill each cup with dryer lint, melt old candle leftovers and pour into the cups over the lint.

 

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Paper Towel Roll Fire StarterRecycle your paper towel roll into a fire starter for your fireplace. Keep the empty towel rolls by your dryer. When cleaning out your dryer lint, fill the empty towel rolls. Works great with egg cartons too!

 

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Warning: Pine Cones in the FireplaceDo NOT use pine-cones as fire starters in your fireplace. When burned they emit creosote, a sticky residue that is highly flammable. It accumulates in your chimney and can cause a chimney fire.

 

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Add Pinecones to FireTo get beautiful color in your fireplace, add pinecones to your fire. You will get beautiful colors of blues, greens, and yellows. Watching a fire in your fireplace is comforting, but getting extra colors is amazing.

 

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Throw Salt on Fire to Reduce SootWhile logs are burning, throw salt on them from time to time. This reduces the soot, making clean-up that much easier.

 

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Product Review: Soot Eater Chimney RodI wanted to clean my chimney before I started using the fireplace. I went to my local Ace Hardware Store and purchased the 'Soot Eater Chimney Rod' for $82. This contraption looks like a weedeater and basically works like one!

 

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Storing Fireplace WoodGet 4 wooden shipping pallets and two 8 foot steel fence posts. Lay two of the pallets on the ground away from the house. Have someone hold the other pallet on end then drive one of the steel posts into the ground about three feet.

 

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Storing Firewood To Make It LastAfter reading the tip for buying firewood, I wanted to remind you how to keep the firewood "from going bad". The wood needs to be elevated off the ground and kept covered.

 

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Get Firewood Now, Don't Wait for WinterYou can save money on firewood by getting it in early summer and late spring. For starters, you pay a premium the closer you get to cold weather. And, you don't have to limit yourself to buying firewood that is completely dry, it will cure over the summer months and be ready to burn when you need it.

 

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Fireplace Match ReplacementIf you run out of fireplace matches, long matches that are useful or starting fires or lighting pilot lights, use a long piece of spaghetti. Just light the spaghetti and use it as a match.

 

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Chimney Cleaning and InspectionIf you have a wood-burning fireplace you need to have the chimney cleaned and inspected yearly. Also only burn fully dried hard woods to produce the most heat output. Having the chimney inspected is an expense, but well worth avoiding a fire!

 

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