Mother and Daughter laughing by the fireplace

6 Hacks for a Cozier Fire

Updated October 1, 2016 . AmFam Team

Igniting the first fire of the season is an exciting experience for the whole family. Use this guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your fireplace.

Nothing compares to gathering around a crackling fire on a cold night with your loved ones. Use this guide to get the most out of your fireplace this winter season.

Know your wood. We all know dry wood is a must for a roaring fire, and it’s best to choose hardwoods over coniferous wood. For extra fragrance, opt for pecan, pear or cherry wood.

Gather kindling. Balled-up newspaper works great as kindling, so start stock piling past issues for the winter. Don’t subscribe to a newspaper? Paper grocery bags, dried corncobs, and pinecones work great too!

Feed the flames. The key to starting a fire quickly is to not pack it too tightly. Place your kindling on the bottom and a few small logs on the top with plenty of room between them. You can add more wood as the fire grows.

Arrange strategically. After you’ve removed all flammable materials from the risk of being ignited from a stray ember, arrange your furniture so that you can feel the warmth throughout the room.

Gather your family. Building a fire is a great way to bring your family together for a night in. Carve out a space to gather all your favorite fireplace necessities — playing cards, blankets, board games, etc.

Cleaning up. After allowing the ashes and embers to cool for at least a day, either dispose of them in a metal bucket, or sprinkle them in your flowerbeds for some extra plant nutrients.

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