Sohio posted at 06:42:07 PM on Jan 22, 2014:
OK, madjack, but what about this:
Chimney was just swept yesterday, fireplace is spotless. Started a fire tonight, and as the fire got going, the smoke didn't go up the chimney like it should. Some did, but it was slow like a stopped sink drain, with a lot of smoke coming out into the room. Checked the damper, it was wide open. The smoke was also thicker and darker than normal, for reasons unknown to me (was using the same types of kindling and wood as I always do, and in the same amounts as normal). Went outside, smoke was coming out of the chimney. Just to be safe, I got the fire extinguishers ready, not sure what was happening next.
Eventually, the problem corrected itself, and it is working fine now...as the fire got bigger, the increased draft got things going up faster. But it really had me scratching my head.
Yes, I have a few thoughts. They all involve a glass, ice and two fingers of my favorite beverage.
The deal here is that you have to start the draft moving up the chimney. Take the local bird cage liner, spread it out on the floor and roll it up lengthwise into a tube. Tear one end into a few shreds to facilitate lighting, fold the other end into a sort of handle then light the paper and put it up into the chimney above the fireplace. The blast of heat from the burning paper will start the draft going up, and the smoke from the fireplace will follow. When your fingers feel uncomfortably warm, drop the paper into the fireplace.
Fire starter logs are the way to go. They get the fire going right away.