There's nothing like gathering around the fireplace during the holidays with your Christmas tree twinkling in the background — but there's one really important thing you should keep in mind before lighting your first fire of the year, TLC carpenter and designer Carter Oosterhouse says.
For wood-burning fireplaces, you'll want to bring in your firewood, stack it and let it dry for three to five days before lighting that first fire, he recommends. You don't want to burn wet wood because it gets smokier, the carpenter explains — and particles get released into the air. (You definitely don't want that while guests are over — or ever!) Not to mention burning wet wood could create a fire hazard, since it may also cause creosote buildup in your chimney.
Rach's bonus fireplace tips? Opt for kiln dried wood if you can get it so bugs don't come crawling out. Oh, and also get your flue cleaned before lighting that fire!