Lighting a wood burning stove can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time. There are some key differences between getting a fire started in a log burner and in a fireplace, or even an open fire, so it’s important to know what you’re doing before you begin. There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s night than curling up in your log burner’s radiant heat, and we want you to get the most out of your stove. This blog will take you through the whole process, along with handy tips from the experts here at Oak & Ash Home.
What You Will Need to Light a Wood Burning Stove
The first thing to do is gather everything you need. Remember, once you begin, you should never leave the room until your fire is well underway, and you’ve closed the door on your log burner.
Firelighters are the ultimate weapon in any stove owner’s arsenal. Made from a wood by-product, firelighters catch flame easily, and are the simplest way to get any fire going. What’s more, natural firelighters will not release any harsh chemicals when burned.
Kindling generally consists of small, thin pieces of wood designed to burn easily. Your kindling will increase the heat of the fire inside your stove so it’s ready for your main fuel. Kindling should be completely dry, and ideally all pieces should be a similar size.
These logs will be your main fuel source. It’s important to use high-quality wood that has been dried and cured, as if the moisture content is too high the wood will not burn well and will release a lot of black smoke. This is not only unpleasant to breathe in or be around, but your stove and soon the room around it will be coated in a thin film of black soot and residue.
Of course, you need something to start your fire. You can use a lighter, but these are not as reliable as traditional matches.
How to Start a Fire in a Log Burner
We’re going to take you step-by-step through the “upside down” or “top down” method of lighting a fire inside a wood burning stove. Traditionally, other methods were used in the past, but thanks to modern innovations in stove technology, this “top down” method is considered safer and more efficient.
- Open the Air Vents
Your fire needs a strong supply of air to really get going. Make sure the top and bottom vents of your stove are open.
- Insert Firelighters and Kindling
Place your firelighters into the centre of your wood burning stove, surrounded by four pieces of kindling in a closely knit “square”.
- Light the Firelighters
Your firelighters will quickly burn and the fire will spread to the Kindling. Give this a couple of minutes to get going until you’re ready for your fuel.
- Add the Logs
Now that the firelighters and kindling are burning, it’s time to add two medium-sized logs to really get your fire going.
- Close the Vents
Once your fire is burning well enough, it’s important to limit the airflow so that the fire does not burn through your fuel too quickly. Closing the vents will lower the internal temperature and allow your fire to be more fuel-efficient.
- And you’re done!
Simply add logs as time goes on as and when your fire dies down, until you’re ready to let the fire go out.
How to Add More Fuel to a Log Burner
If your first set of logs has almost burned away, it’s time to add some more. You can wait until your fire is nearly reduced to embers, but it’s up to you. The important thing is to re-open the vents after adding a new log to ensure it catches fire quickly and well enough.
How to Put Out a Wood Burner
Once you’ve basked in the warmth of your wood burner, it’s time to safely extinguish it. You can put your log burner out by following these steps:
- Starve the flames of oxygen by keeping the vents and door closed
- Wait until all of the fuel has burned down, and the fire is reduced to embers
- Now, whilst wearing heat-resistant gloves such as the Clearview Stove Gloves, use a poker to spread the remaining ashes and embers around.
- Once the stove has cooled down, sweep away the remaining ashes and dispose of them safely.
And you’re done! You should now be able to light your very own log burner yourself, safely and confidently.