Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We have old fireplaces in our house but use them sparing since the flues haven’t been relined. Our house was built with shallow fireplaces designed to burn coal, a much more efficient fuel than wood; although it isn’t as immediately gratifying as a blazing wood fire, coal lasts longer and gives more even warmth.
Occasionally we lay a fire in the children’s rooms on very cold night and in Christmas’ past we would start a fire so the kids could send a note to Santa Claus—they wrote a letter with their wish list then held it in the draft and it went whooshing right straight off to the North Pole; those fourteen foot tall chimneys have quite a draw. This year December was so warm that we probably would have used the attic fan, instead, to send that letter on its merry way.