I have a fireplace insert. I just learned that you aren't supposed to use stuff like DuraFlame in those. Fortunately, I haven't been doing so for long. But unfortunately, DuraFlame is the only thing that was working well for us. I had kindling and seasoned logs but getting the fire started with them isn't working. Once it's going, it's fine but getting it going is what it's all about. Is there anything else that can or should be used to help get a fire going in a fireplace insert?
Private Mod Note
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Quote from no leftist ever »
If Trump wins this election, I'm moving to Mexico!
I can't find anything on what starters to use after a quick google search, so let's go old school. This is basically a wood stove, right?
In addition to your kindling, get some smaller twigs or branch pieces, preferably well dried. Just remember that the smaller the surface area the easier the burn. Newspapers, rolled up or crumbled into balls, are also great starters to place under the actual kindling. You can use mailers or your junk mail, too, lol. I honestly don't know how this works for an insert, though. What kind of screen are you working with, and why did it say the duralast is bad?
Cardboard is actually the best way to start fires, even better than newspaper or natural kindling, as it produces a lot of flame/heat/energy for how little space it takes up. Stuff like cereal boxes are great; tear it up into strips and twist it up and jam them between the small logs, then light both ends of the cardboard and you're all set.
Basically, if you have a high quality knife (something like this) you can
take the blade of the knife and basically whittle down wood shavings that serve as kindling.
Shave off the exterior a little first to get at the oils within the wood, and then begin whittling down, leaving the wood shavings attached to the stick.
What you should have is a set of kindling that will ignite easily, that remains well oxygenated, and will directly burn onto the branch once the fire gets a little hotter.
You can ignite the kindling directly with a ferrocerrium firestarter.
Get a bottle of super glue and some cotton balls. Superglue causes cotton to ignote, and hot, when a large amount is applied. Put the balls on shredded paper and then pour the glue on.
Just wanna say this is an awful idea. Burning superglue is terrible for your health. Flues aren't magical fume-removing devices and even if they were, any clog or problem with the chimney will mean that you get more than a couple lungfuls of cancer. Especially when using cardboard or feathsticks as suggested previously is very easy, much cheaper and has none of the downsides of superglue.
Plus, if he can't use DuraFlame logs to start fires I'm guessing superglue will also be out. In general, don't use man-made chemicals to start fires. Humans have been doing it for thousands of years and we're pretty good at it even with just wood.
To answer the question about the DuraFlame... apparently in a wood-burning fireplace insert, using the DuraFlame logs will lead to excessive creosote buildup.
Hey everybody, I didn't want to let this thread sit forever without offering my thanks for your tips and tricks. I feel like a colossal moron. I had no experience at all with fires before, as I'd always either lived at home with my parents or rented a place without a fireplace. So for some reason, I never thought about the fact that I didn't have a grate, and so the wood was not getting aerated. My wife, who usually has the common sense in our relationship, missed out on that too. Go figure.