When a fire doesn't want to burn

First of all, we have to know why actually a fireplace burns. There have to be a draught in the fireplace insert to fireplace could exist. On the one hand, the air has to reach the hearth, and on the other hand, the chimney has to contain specified parameters to pull the smoke from the combustion space.

Currently most of the fireplace inserts have air inflow connection which has to be tightly coupled with the tube with air from the outside. There may occur difficulties with the firing up the fireplace if the tube has too small cross section. It also may happen that grid on the house elevation, that is the beginning of the tube, has too fine grid, that effectively reduce the flow of air. The inflow air tube should not be situated in the perpendicular because the air reluctantly goes down. The cross section of the inflow air tube is always adjusted to the size of the fireplace. The most common cross sections are 120-150mm. On the other site, there is a chimney that needs to have appropriate chimney draft, which comes from its length and cross section. Usually the most regular chimney has a diameter of approximately 200mm. The length of the chimney comes from the project of the roof and the distance from the ridge. Very important issue impinging on correct fireplace exploitation is heating of the chimney. It is imperative to ensure that the chimney had insulation in the cold places like unheated attic and roof. Practically all of the chimney systems are factory-insulated so the best way is to choose chimney system – steel or ceramic. The worst choice is chimney made of brick, but we will talk about it in another article. If there is cold in the certain section of the chimney, the seeping smoke cools down and suddenly condenses. As a consequence, the disruption appear in the chimney draft, that is felt by the chimney’s users in an unpleasant way.  

Sometimes the significant factor is location of the house and what is on its west site. Location of the house in the valley, and also tall trees and building on its west site can have influence on burning the wood in the fireplace. In this case, chimney draft needs to be reinforced by extension of the chimney above the ridge of the roof. It is also needed to install a self-adjusting chimney cowl, so-called turbo-vent. Adapter will always block out the wind, which has no chance to fall into the chimney and to cause so-called smoke-back.

 One of the most important factors is, however, the technique of burning in the fireplace. Every fireplace user has to remember that fireplace-chimney installation has appropriate parameters only when it is heated. So it is needed to put at the beginning a great deal of the wood to not open the door of the fireplace draft by approximately 30-45 minutes. Only after this time, the next part of the fuel is possible to put into fireplace. Thanks to this, the unpleasant smoke-back can be avoided. It is also important to remember that the acces point door should always be closed because every leading so-called air leak to the chimney causes decrease of the chimney draft. This air leak can have its source in the others parts of the fireplace or chimney. It would be enough that during building of the fireplace the appropriate dilatation spaces and connection holes had not been used, that would cause the cracks in the T-joint, or loosening of the smoke pipes connection. As an consequence, not only the fire in the fireplace begins to burn worse, but also it starts to be dangerous for the house inhabitants. Quality and type of the fuel cannot also be omitted. If the wood is wet it is difficult to count on pleasant and effective burning in the fireplace. As a kindling, it is worth preparing some small splinters, even from conifer. At the beginning the flow of the air has to be completely opened as well as damper, if you have one.