How to light a wood burning stove
Lighting a wood burning stove can be incredibly easy and a very satisfying process. There is no ‘one way’ to light a stove, however, if you follow this simple step-by-step guide you’ll have a roaring fire in no time at all.
Step One: Prepare your stove
To prepare your stove simply clear out any excess debris at the bottom of your stove like ash and charcoal, however leave a thin layer within the fire box as this helps insulate the fire when you start it. If your stove has a grate, make sure your empty the ash pan below and, no matter what type stove you own, be sure to clean out any blocked air intakes of ash.
Finally, open up the Airwash and Primary Air control system to allow air to get to fire and keep your stove clean.
Step Two: Building the firebase
When building a fire you need to start small. First place a firelighter or two (whether chemical or natural) in the centre of the fire box, ensuring it is behind the log guard at the front. Around the firelighters build a small pyramid of kindling with plenty of gaps for air to flow through. You can also add small bunched up bits of newspaper and/or birch bark to this pyramid to help the fire catch more swiftly.
Step Three: Lighting the fire
Using a match or lighter, light the firelighters at the centre of your firebase. Allow these to burn and for the kindling to catch fire. When the kindling is burning vigorously, carefully add more kindling to the firebase, but not so much that you end up smothering the fire. As the fire takes hold you can add small pieces of wood and logs to the blaze and close the stove door, making sure to leave a small gap to allow the fire to breathe as it starts.
Step Four: Maintaining the fire
Once the fire appears to be blazing fully on a few pieces of larger kindling and wood and white embers begin to form at the bottom of the fire, you can start adding larger pieces of wood to the fire, gradually building up to large logs or a briquette. Make sure you do not load above or beyond the log guard or the secondary air inlets at the back of the stove as this will hinder the fire’s combustion and be potentially dangerous.
You can now close the door of the stove fully and keep it topped up with large logs if necessary.
If your stove is brand new, do not create large fires during the first few weeks of using the appliance to allow the structure to settle and any paint to fully cure. The stove may give off some odours during this time however these will disappear after a while.