How to Lay and Light Your Stove
27th Sep 2017
In preparation for the chilly months ahead, we've discussed tips on how to get your wood burning stove ready for winter and how to store your logs properly. Now all that's left to do is actually start a fire! If you're not sure how to light one, we've put together a list of the key steps in laying and lighting your wood-burning stove, so you can feel the warmth from it straight away!
1. Ash Bed
Wood burns best on a layer of ash, so you always need to ensure there is a nice flat bed of ash at the base of the fire. This will of course not be possible if you have just bought your stove and it is the first time you are lighting it, but thereafter it is always best to leave at least some ash in the firebed. We wouldn't advise burning straight onto the grate or base brick every time.
2. Paper & Firelighters
The next step is to use scrunched up newspaper (not glossy magazine paper). On a medium sized fire, around 6 pieces should be sufficient. Do not scrunch the paper up too tightly, as this will just create a lot of smoke and not much flame. Then, place 2-3 firelighters in amongst the paper. The firelighters must be 'natural' - we recommend the Flamers Natural firelighters.
To get your fire started, you will need small pieces of wood called kindling. These small pieces create a good, strong flame which warms the chimney up and gets the inside of the stove hot enough to put your logs on. Softwood or kiln dried kindling is best and must not be treated or painted wood. The kindling must be spaced out evenly to allow a good airflow -we recommend 3 layers, arranged in a criss-cross fashion. You can buy high-quality kindling from our online store.
When your stove is all laid up with firelighters and kindling, the next step is, of course, to light it. Using matches or a lighter, light the paper and firelighters. Open the air controls on the stove and leave the door ajar. Leaving the door open slightly will do 2 things: ensure more air gets inside the stove so the kindling will light quicker, and stop the glass from misting up as the air wash system in your stove will not be up to temperature yet to help keep the glass clear.
Make sure you start off with a couple of small logs, as your stove will not be up to temperature yet and putting a large piece of wood on may kill the fire. As with the kindling, ensure they are spaced out evenly (to allow a good airflow) and not too close to the glass (as this can cause it to blacken up)! Close the door on the stove and over the course of a few minutes, slowly close the air controls down. Try not to close them down entirely, as it will smother the fire because there will be no oxygen to allow the fire to burn.
Moreover, make sure the firewood you are using is well seasoned and has not been treated with anything. You can buy firewood from our online shop or, if you are seasoning your own wood, use a moisture meter to ensure your logs are dry enough to burn.
Last but not least, sit back and enjoy the warmth of your woodburning stove!