Fire newbie- what do I need to know?
This past year I relocated from a tropical climate to a temperate one- this will be my first "winter" in 30 years and I'm scared!
We have a fireplace in the basement of our home that we hope to use as supplemental heat. When we moved into the home we had a chimney guy come and install a fireplace insert (Pacific Energy), run a stainless steel liner and do some small repairs to the outside of the chimney and put on a new cap. He also added a cold air return to the area so our heat pump will utilize the warm air more efficiently, and hopefully we can run on 'fan only' sometimes, too. So I am inspected and clean and checked out all around in that regard.
We have plenty of fully seasoned wood, plus an unlimited supply of our own timber for the future. Lookin' good, right?
So it's cooler weather and getting nippy and the husband is afraid to light a fire because he doen't want to burn the house down- so why did we spend all that money on the new insert?? Don't laugh- you guys all had to learn sometime!
We open the flue all the way, right? We arrange our kindling, fatwood, or starter wafer but first light a piece of paper and hold it in the flue to get the draw going. Then we light the kindling, keeping the flue open (all the way?) and slowly adding wood until it gets going well. Then close up the flue some to control the burn.
Am I on the right track here?
Any recommended reading or hints before we begin?
I am really looking forward to firing this thing up but want to do so in as safe a manner as is possible.