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How to Build an Efficient Fire in Your Fireplace

Forming an Adequate Fire Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesWhile many love the sensory experience of a wood fire, not everyone loves the chores involved with burning wood. Having to bring in more firewood from outside to keep a fire going can be tiring, especially when the weather gets freezing cold. Knowing how to build an efficient fire allows you to spend more time enjoying the cozy flames instead of trudging outside to get more fuel. Aelite Chimney Specialties loves helping our customers learn how to build better fires, and we would like to tell you how to build a top-down fire, which is recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). This method of building a fire will give you longer lasting and warmer fires without spending a lot of time maintaining the flames.

Start with the largest pieces of firewood.

Although you may have learned to place your largest logs on top of the fire, a top-down burn build starts with those pieces on the bottom. Do not place the firewood parallel to the opening of the fireplace. Instead, place the ends of the logs facing the front and back of the fireplace.

Add layers of smaller logs.

Once you have your base of larger pieces of firewood, you can then stack layers of smaller pieces on top until you have reached half of the height of the firebox. You want to make each level smaller as you stack higher.

Place kindling and wood shavings on the top.

You will want to build a mini-version with your kindling of what you just built with the firewood. At the very top of your kindling stack, place wood shavings. You will want to stop building just below the fireplace opening.

Light the fire!

If you have struggled with lighting wood fires in the past, you will appreciate how simple it is to get a top-down burn fire started. Typically, you will only need a single match or the flame from an automatic lighter to ignite the wood shavings. You can also roll up a newspaper and light the end to start the fire.

A top-down burn will give you a fire that produces less smoke and creosote. You will also notice fewer ashes on the floor in front of the fireplace because you will not have larger logs falling on smaller pieces of firewood. Aelite Chimney Specialties also recommends that you only burn seasoned firewood. Contact us to learn more tips for building the best and most efficient wood fires this winter.

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Consider Installing Glass Fireplace Doors

When you have kids and pets, it is important to make the area around your fireplace as safe as possible. One of the best safety measures you can take is installing glass fireplace doors. Glass fireplace doors are also an economical way to update the look of your fireplace. Aelite Chimney Specialties offers a wide variety of glass fireplace doors in all sorts of styles. We can even create custom doors to perfectly fit your fireplace. You can trust us to install these doors as safely as possible, and we can also install other safety components such as screen gates. We would like to tell you more about the benefits of glass fireplace doors.

Keep hot sparks and embers in the fireplacekeep sparks inside your fireplace - Chicago IL - Aelite

Glass fireplace doors will completely seal the fireplace opening from your home, and this means you will not have to worry about hot sparks and embers jumping out of the fireplace to land on your floor, curtains, or furniture. You will be reducing your risk of an accidental fire caused by hot sparks and embers.

Improve energy efficiency

According to Step By Step, glass fireplace doors will help to keep your home warmer because they keep air from escaping out of the chimney during the cold winter months. Your home will also stay cooler in the summer as these glass doors will keep hot air from coming through the fireplace through your chimney.

Reduce smoke in your home

Downdrafts can be inevitable at times due to a sudden rush of air down the chimney. If you have a fire burning during a downdraft, smoke will be pushed into your home. With glass fireplace doors, you can enjoy your fires without having to worry about any downdrafts making your home smoky.

Childproof your fireplace

As we mentioned earlier, glass fireplace doors can keep your kids and pets away from a blazing fire. However, these glass doors can get very hot, so you need to teach your children to not touch the doors. Aelite Chimney Specialties can help you with this issue by also installing screen gates that will keep your kids from getting to the glass fireplace doors.
Aelite Chimney Specialties has the experience and eye to know exactly what size of glass fireplace doors you need to fit your fireplace opening perfectly. Contact us to find out more about your glass fireplace door options.

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New Year, New Wood-Burning Fireplace Insert

Many of us like to start off the new year making improvements to our lives, and upgrading an older masonry fireplace by converting it to a new wood-burning fireplace insert is a great way to give your home a new look while providing supplemental heat to your house. You may be aware of how inefficient your old fireplace has become over the years, and you probably have also noticed your heating bills increasing as well. If you have been considering upgrading your fireplace, Aelite Chimney Specialties is the perfect place to find the best wood-burning inserts on the market. Not only can we help you pick out the perfect insert for your home, but our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technicians can safely install your new heating appliance. We would like to tell you more about wood-burning fireplace inserts and why you should consider starting off the new year with one of these inserts.New Year, New Wood Burning Fireplace Insert - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialties

Wood-burning fireplace inserts allow you to enjoy clean and warm heat.

With a new wood-burning fireplace insert, you will not have to worry about contributing as much pollution as you would have with those types of heating appliances in the past. New technology has led to the development of wood-burning inserts that are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to How Stuff Works, newer EPA-certified wood-burning fireplace inserts are guaranteed to efficiently and safely burn wood with less smoke.

Wood-burning fireplace inserts work efficiently when they are professionally installed.

In order to ensure your new heating appliance functions safely and efficiently, the chimney experts at Aelite Chimney Specialties will also install a stainless steel chimney liner that properly fits the insert. Since these new fireplace inserts are smaller than the older masonry fireplace, you will need a flue that fits the insert to prevent chimney draft problems and other costly issues. We will also make sure your new wood-burning fireplace insert is working as it should after installation.

Wood-burning fireplace inserts will save you money on heating costs.

Not only has new technology allowed for burning wood more cleanly, these new wood-burning fireplace inserts will reduce your consumption of wood. Fires burned in these inserts burn longer and produce more warmth to your home. Most models of these inserts are equipped with blowers that can evenly distribute the heat from the fire throughout the room. We know you will see a decrease in how much money you spent to heat your home after installing a new wood-burning fireplace insert.

Now is a perfect time to begin the new year with a new wood-burning fireplace insert. Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to get started on updating your older masonry fireplace to a more efficient heating appliance.

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Firewood Tips for Optimal Burning and Storing

Winter is quickly approaching, and before you know it, you will be sitting in front of your fireplace enjoying a warm, beautiful fire. However, using the right firewood can make a huge difference on the efficiency of your fireplace. We at Aelite Chimney Specialties would like to share with you some tips on how to choose and store your firewood to help you achieve the best fires possible this season.

Plan Ahead.


Thoughtful preparation of your firewood supply is crucial. You have many decisions to make in advance of the fireplace season, including obtaining your firewood (Will you cut the wood yourself, or will you be buying your firewood?), storing your firewood, and properly drying your firewood. A lot of people get a late start on gathering their wood fuel supply for the winter and end up having to use inferior firewood. Thinking about this important task in the spring and summer ensures you will have the best wood supply you can when you need it.

Investigate the Best Source for Your Firewood Supply.

If you plan on cutting your own wood, be sure you have the correct permits to do so on state-owned land if you do not own a woodlot. If you would rather buy firewood, ask your friends and family for recommendations for reliable wood vendors. Never order firewood over the phone or online as you need to see the vendor’s wood supply in person to be sure the wood is clean, dried, and properly sized.

Season Your Firewood.

The most important characteristic of good firewood is that the wood is dry and seasoned. According to Michigan State University, your firewood must be dry to burn efficiently and to maximize heat values. Burning wet, green wood is a waste of energy as the fire must evaporate all of the moisture before it can provide sufficient heat. Using green wood can also lead to the rapid development of large creosote deposits when the chimney stack temperatures are not hot enough, which leads creosote to condense. A highly flammable compound, creosote deposits are one of the main causes of chimney fires.

Stack Your Firewood Correctly to Aid the Seasoning Process.

The stacking method you choose to store your firewood will affect how quickly it dries. Never dead-pile your wood closely together as this prolongs seasoning. Using criss-crossed and open-spaced stacking methods will allow your wood to season faster. Also, know that the size of each piece of wood also makes a difference on how quickly it will dry.

Store Your Firewood Properly.

Your firewood should be protected from the weather by storing it off the ground and covering it with plastic or another weatherproof material, if you do not have a woodshed storage area. Seasoned wood can be ruined by exposure to rain and snow since wood easily absorbs and retains moisture.

Want to know more firewood burning and storing tips? Contact Aelite Chimney Specialties to ask our expert staff about more ways you can be prepared with the best supply of firewood.

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