We had a crazy snowstorm last Saturday (which I blogged about here). I mentioned that we were going to have our first fire in our fireplace (we were really in the Christmas spirit because of the snow). So I had to write about the experience! Again, my fears were the smell, the dogs getting in it, the TV falling off the brick wall, ruining the DIY mantel Alex had built, and of course burning the house down (that didn't happen of course since our little blog is still alive). Earlier in the day, we grabbed fire wood and Duraflame Firestarters from Home Depot and a new Fireplace Tool Set from Target.
Before Alex and I had our first fire, he did a little online research about using a 90 year old brick and morter fireplace (click here to learn about some neighborhood history) and discovered that the main concern would be airflow up through the chimney (and obviously not burning our house down).
First, Alex checked out the flue damper control (we shined some light on it). He had to make sure that it was in the open position so that the smoke could exit and create an updraft into the chimney.
Alex then heated the chimney with rolled newspaper to ensure that there was enough of an updraft to pull the smoke out of the chimney once the fire got started.
Once he added the kindling and had a small fire going, Alex used a flashlight to verify that all the smoke was going up and more importantly out. Thankfully it did, I hate smoke smell!
(My job? I stood by with our fire extinguisher in case of emergency!)
Thankfully, no emergency situation!
Once the fire got going, it created a warm cozy atmosphere in our house. We both sat down in front of the fire to take in the warmth and listen to the crackling sound coming from the hearth. It was a really memorable moment for Alex and I. We had never experienced having a fire in our house, it was amazing, like learning our house could do something we didn't know it could do! Finally, we knew the practical reason why a fireplace was a requirement in our home search.