Getting your logs glowing in your log burning stove is always an achievement. Knowing how to light a wood burning stove is a start.
Here are some tips on how to light a wood burning stove:
- Use firelighters, some people use tightly rolled up newspapers instead, but that just seems like extra work. Yes firelighters can smell, but that soon dissipates.
- Use newspaper as a base, so that you have something to light which will take the flame to the firelighters. Using long matches is preferable to burning your fingers.
- Use kindling wood, a bit of an expense with firelighters as well, but if you pick up sticks during the summer and store them they can make great free kindling by the winter.
- Open the bottom air vents of the stove and open the flue damper if you have one, or leave the wood burner door ajar to let the air in. This will increase the flue pull of your burner. Remember a fire needs fuel, heat and oxygen.
- Try leaving a thin bed of ash at the bottom of the ash box, when clearing out the cinders, this will heat up and help get the wood burner hot. An ash bed of around 25mm or 1 inch should be sufficient.
- Add small pieces of wood as the fire gets going. Keep small logs and bits of bark back for just this purpose.
- Now you can just add a log, not too many as they will reduce the temperature. Be sure that the logs are very dry and are seasoned, otherwise you will just be boiling the water in the wet logs. Learn about seasoning your logs.
- If you have hard and soft wood burn the softer woods such as pine first before moving on to ash. Learn about which logs to burn.
- The trick with a wood burning stove is that it needs to get very hot before the logs really glow. Stoves are made of cast iron so give it time to heat up.
- A couple of safety points, remember to get your chimney swept at least once a year it only costs about £45, which is cheaper than your chimney going up in smoke. Secondly ensure that all the seals on your wood burner are intact, if in any doubt go back to your retailer and get an expert in to assess the situation.
- Most wood burners take around half an hour to heat up. Once they are hot they become really efficient. Leave the vents partially open to let the oxygen in.