381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Tues. - Fri. 9am to 5pm / Sat. 10am to 2pm / Sun. - Mon. Closed

How to Build an Efficient Fire


Winter is in full swing, and many homeowners dependent on fireplaces for both zone heating and relaxation. However, a wood fire can be a pain though, especially when the nights get cold and the fire can’t seem to get warm enough. At Beach Stove and Fireplace, we have our favorite ways to light our fires, and we’re ready to share those secrets with you!

Start with Seasoned Firewood

masonry chimneyYou should only burn properly seasoned firewood in your fireplace, insert, or stove. Burning wet or “green” firewood is very difficult to light, and it is also not hot enough to drive the smoke up the chimney flue. Wood that has too much moisture causes more creosote and soot production, which also causes a drop in the efficiency of your system. This leads to a more difficult-to-light fire. You should build your fire with properly seasoned firewood only this winter. 

Prime the Flue

Even a well-built fire can be difficult to light when your chimney is cold. The chimney is one of the largest spaces in your home. When it’s cold, it is filled with a wall of cold air that falls into the fireplace. In order for the smoke from your fire to rise up, the air needs to be warmed. You can prime your cold chimney by rolling up a piece of newspaper and lighting it. Hold the paper at the entrance of the flue, and it will slowly warm the flue as it burns. Once your chimney is warm, the smoke is then able to rise up the flue.

Top-Down Burn

Our favorite fire is untraditional, but lights well and burns very efficiently. Instead of the way you were taught around a campfire, put the kindling on top–where air flows freely. First, put the largest pieces of firewood at the bottom, laying front to back. This allows the air to move through the vents at the front of the fireplace, and it also feed your fire from the bottom.

Next, place 4-5 smaller levels of wood on top of this layer, alternating directions, and topping it with kindling, wood shavings, and lint or small pieces of paper. Many homeowners decide to go from the bottom to top layer, starting with hardwoods on the bottom, and the softest on top. When the fire is lit, the heat and smoke rise straight into the flue, unhindered by a pile of wood. The coals drop down, lighting the rest of the wood as it burns. This method is the most efficient and recommended by the professionals too!

If you’re using properly seasoned firewood, you primed your chimney to built a proper fire. However, the fire still won’t light, you may have a problem with the chimney itself. It may have an obstruction or other problems. Call the professionals to have it assessed and repaired or cleaned, contact a professional today by calling 631-998-0780 or online!

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Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)