How to Operate Your Chimney Properly

Even if you’ve had a fireplace for many years, it’s never too soon to remind yourself and your family of the best fireplace practices to maintain the highest level of safety and efficiency of your chimneys system.


The only thing that should burn in your fireplace is the fuel for which it’s designed. In a wood fireplace you should only burn properly seasoned wood that has been cut and set aside for at least six months. A gas fireplace should be connected properly with the right fuel source and should be inspected by a professional.

Routine Maintenance

You should assume that overtime your fire is burning, your chimney is working. Your chimney works to vent harmful byproducts out of your house while a fire is burning, and this work can be complicated by other things in the home. When you have a fireplace you should educate yourself about how the chimney works, with air pressure and drafts. If this is compromised, it will stop venting properly.

If the chimney is damaged or dirty it won’t work properly either. You can avoid a smoky, inefficient, or broken chimney by keeping up with these important appointments. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual inspections and chimney sweeps as needed to keep the chimney system operating properly.

You can even check for chimney deposits yourself in order to determine what type of services you need to schedule.

How to Light and Burn a Fire

  • Before lighting a fire in a cold chimney you should prime it, so that the cold air doesn’t block the smoke from rising up the chimney. This will also make the fire-starting process much easier.
    Master the top-down burn for the best results when fire-building. The top-down burn is recommended by industry professionals. It burns more efficiently and is easier to start than the traditional fire.
  • Only burn properly seasoned wood for a more efficient fire and to create less soot and creosote in the chimney. You should never burn trash or clothes in your fireplace.
  • Control an unruly flame by using the damper and vent openings or glass doors.
  • Invest in fireplace tools that come equipped with long handles. These allow you to work with your fire and avoid accidental burns.
    Keep home decor and debris away from your hearth while a fire is burning. This will prevent other things from igniting when sparks fly from the fireplace. You can also prevent this by purchasing a fireplace screen.
  • While you are reviewing tips for safe chimney and fireplace operation, make sure your family knows the dos and don’ts of fireplace use. Don’t leave your fireplace unattended with children or anyone who doesn’t understand how to operate the fireplace properly and don’t let children play near a fireplace opening, even when it isn’t lit.

It’s our goal at Black Moose Chimney and Stove to educate every homeowner about safe chimney operation because your safety and comfort is our top priority. We can help you make it a priority with your family. To talk to one of our chimney experts at your convenience call 603.525.7905 or contact us online today.

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)