Starting a wood stove fire

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If you already own a wood stove or are thinking about purchasing one, you will not be disappointed. A wood burner is a fantastic addition to any home and an eye-catching focal point.

As winter approaches and the nights grow longer, there is no better way to spend chilly evenings than nestled up next to your wood burning stove.

However, before you fire up your wood burner and start using it more frequently, the Charnwood experts have compiled their tips on how to light a wood burner, as well as other top tips, so you can get the most out of your wood burner.

How to Use a Wood Burning Stove

If you are thinking about purchasing a wood stove, make sure it is appropriate for your home. Before making a purchase, we strongly advise you to have a site survey performed by an experienced stove installer. Use our stove calculator to determine whether your room is suitable for a stove.

How to Start a Fire in a Wood Burning Stove

Making a successful fire in a wood burner involves several steps. A poorly constructed and lit fire can prevent the stove from becoming hot. To create a successful wood burner fire, follow these steps:

To begin, ensure that your wood is well seasoned and dry, with a moisture content of less than 20% - if purchasing wood in smaller quantities, look for the Woodsure 'Ready to Burn label,' which guarantees this.

We recommend that you light your stove from the top down.

1) Leave some ash - Leaving some ash from previous fires is the most efficient way to light a wood burning stove. However, you should still clean out the majority of the ash to prevent air circulation from being obstructed. 2) Arrange 2-3 smaller logs on the bed of the stove. 3) Place a stack of 6-8 softwood kindling sticks on top of this. 4) Insert a natural fire lighter inside. 5) Fully open the air control to maximize the supply of oxygen in the wood burner required to start the fire. 6) Light the fire lighter and close the door slightly ajar. 7) This aids in heating the chimney flue and burning hot and cleanly. 8) Once the fire is well-burning, close the door and reduce air intake. 9) Refuel frequently and in small amounts.

10) After each log is added, open the air control again until the fire is well-burning, then return it to normal.

By operating your stove in this manner, you will achieve maximum efficiency while emitting the fewest emissions.

How hot can a wood stove get?

Most wood burners can reach temperatures ranging from 190 to 343 degrees Celsius (375 to 650 degrees Fahrenheit). However, how hot a wood burner gets depends on a number of factors, including a poor draft on the stove, air vents that are too close or too open, an incorrectly built/lit fire, and the use of wet wood.

How many logs do I need for a wood stove?

It is critical not to overburden your wood burner with logs, as this will result in the fire not having enough oxygen to burn effectively. Use one or two logs in your wood burner at the same time for consistent heat.

How to Get the Most Heat Out of a Wood Burner

Several factors may prevent your wood burner from producing maximum heat, including:
• The type of wood burned
• The wood's moisture content
• The effectiveness with which the air supply to the fire is controlled.
• How well the fire is kept going

To get the most heat out of your wood stove, do the following:

• Using softwoods to start the fire quickly
• Using harder woods after the fire has started to generate more heat for longer periods of time.
• Ensuring that all wood burned is dry and does not contain excessive moisture (as previously stated, we recommend a 20% or lower moisture content threshold for firewood).
• Adding a few pieces of wood on a regular basis, rather than waiting for the flame to die down or adding large amounts of wood all at once.
• Correctly using air vents to control airflow to the fire
• Having your chimney cleaned and maintained on a regular basis
• Regularly clean and maintain your wood-burning stove.
• Ensuring that your room has adequate ventilation to provide oxygen to the fire.

How to Maintain a Wood Burner

The following suggestions will help a wood stove burn for a longer period of time:
• Do not use wet wood in your wood burning stove.
• Reduce the amount of air coming through the air vents to extend the life of the fire.
• A stove with cast iron elements is more efficient and will keep a fire going longer.
• To learn more about wood burning stove cleaning tips and tricks, visit our blog: How to Clean Your Wood Burning Stove.

What are the best trees to burn in a wood stove?

The following types of wood are ideal for use in a wood stove: • Ash • Oak • Birch • Beech • Cherry

• Sycamore trees

How to Extinguish a Wood Burner

Follow these steps to safely extinguish your wood stove:
• Deprive the flames of oxygen by closing the stove door completely.
• Shut down all air vents and wait for the flames to die down to embers.
• Using a fire poker, open the door while wearing heat-resistant gloves.
• Sweep away any remaining ashes after the stove has cooled. An ash carrier can be useful in this situation.

More cleaning and maintenance advice can be found on our blog: How to Clean Wood Burner Glass.

Contact Charnwood right away.

Contact Charnwood today to learn more about lighting your wood burner and keeping it in good working order. Our friendly, knowledgeable team is available to answer any questions you may have.

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