Here are a few nifty tricks to keep your chimney cleaned, start your fires, and get you on your way.



1) When you start your fire, burn it hot for the first half an hour.  The intense heat creates a "cyclone" effect that tears away the small bits of creosote that build up in your flue as the fire dies.

2) Your fire is never allowed to go out?  Burn it hot for a half an hour once every couple of days.

3) Ash is acidic.  Clean your stove or fireplace periodically or the protective bricks and even the steel of the firebox will be eaten away.

4) Pinecones make excellent fire starters. 

5) If you are able to do so, mix sawdust with diesel in a large container (15 gallon tin trash can) so that the sawdust is just barely damp.  A cupful of this mixture scattered on your logs or kindling will make starting the fire so much easier!  ***Diesel does not explode like gasoline does, which makes it much safer to use***  DO NOT USE GASOLINE! 



1) Throw potato peelings into the firebox of your unit and let the fire consume them.  The chemicals given off by the burning peels are equivalent to creosote remover that you might purchase in stores... and much cheaper.  ***It's an old wive's tale... but it works for several of my clients***

2) Use the ash and soot from your unit as a fertilizer for plants and gardens.  A light dusting is all you need.  

3) The ash may be used as an ice-melt.  Be careful where you use it, however, because you don't want to track it into the house.  Throw it onto driveways or places where driving is sometimes difficult and slick.

4) A cold blockage is caused when cold air is trapped inside of your otherwise clear flue and causes the smoke from your system to come into the house rather than escape as normal.  Stuff your stove with paper and light it... close the door... and let the fire do it's work.  The hot air will force the cold air out.