Whether you are young or old, there’s something uniquely satisfying about lighting your own fire, and to assist we have compiled a few helpful tips.
First of all there’s no definitive “right” or “wrong” way to light a wood burning stove, and each has its own characteristics, however there are a few helpful hints that you can employ to ensure a hassle free fire. As you become more experienced and get to know your particular stove you will develop your own method of lighting and controlling the fire.
The First Lighting of Your Stove:
When your stove has been installed and it is ready to be used for the first time, before lighting the fire we would recommend that you check the stove door and handles are properly secured, and that all the internal linings and baffles are in their correct position, as sometimes they can become loose or dislodged during transit. Additionally please check inside the firebox for any supplementary tools / spares.
We would advise that you make the first fire small, in order to allow the stove and paint finish to adapt to the heat. During the first fire the paint finish will be vulnerable to impact damage whilst it cures and the rope seal on the stove door may also stick to the body of the stove if the door is locked shut, therefore we would recommend that you leave the door slightly ajar for the first fire. Please be mindful that hot embers may spit from the wood!
Essentially the materials of the stove need time to adapt to the effects of the heat.
As a safety feature some models have a spring loaded hinge on the firebox door, this is adjustable and may need some adjustment in order to apply more or less tension to the self closing sprung hinge.
Most stoves have a primary and secondary control air vents. These can be found on the front face of the stove, (one at the top and one at the bottom), and control the flow of air in and out of the firebox, therefore giving control to regulate the rate at which the fire burns and therefore the heat. To simplify matters if you have both the vents open then you will feed the fire with oxygen and it will burn both rapidly and hot, alternatively if you close both vents you will starve the fire of oxygen and it will eventually expire.
The primary control is always the lowest control vent. This control allows cold air to pass under the grate, thus feeding the fire with oxygen. The secondary control vent regulates the hot air that is introduced to the firebox, which allows the fire to burn at higher temperatures. Burning at higher temperatures allows all the flammable gases to burn before they are lost up the chimney, therefore optimising the stoves efficiency.
When burning wood, once the fire is established the bottom air control can be closed so that all the air for the fire comes via the top air control. Slight adjustment of the top air vent will now control the fire. If the fire start to go out then opening the bottom air vent should rapidly revive the fire. Each stove behaves in a slightly different manner and as you gain experience of its operation you will quickly learn which settings optimise the performance of your stove.
Fire Lighting Hints:
When lighting the fire, it is advisable to have both top and bottom air vents fully open. You can use either firelighters or scrunched up newspaper to light the fire. Firelighters are more effective if your logs / wood are damp or if you are lighting coal, however if you are using dry logs / wood, rolled up newspaper is very effective and obviously cheaper. Be careful not to scrunch the newspaper up to tightly as it will be difficult to light.
One the paper has taken light, add small bits of kindling (dry sticks of wood) on top of the paper / firelighters in a pyramid arrangement, slowly building up the fire. Once the kindling has taken light you will be able to add larger pieces of wood. If you are struggling to light the fire a useful tip is to hold the firebox door very slightly open for about a minute to create a draw of air over the fire, this aids rapid burning and is effective at lighting the fire quickly, however the tinder will burn out very quickly.
When the fire is lit do not run the stove with the door open. The stove casing and in particular the handle and control knobs will become very hot when the stove is in use, therefore suitable gloves should always be used when attending to the stove.
Damp / un –seasoned wood will not burn efficiently and may make the door glass dirty. This can be cleaned with a mild detergent once the fire has expired and the stove has cooled. Once you perfect the operation of the air control vents your stove will burn efficiently and the ceramic door glass should remain clean.
Health and Safety
Installation should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and local building regulations.
Always wear suitable gloves when attending to the stove.
Over cramming the stove with logs / wood (over firing) is both dangerous may cause damage to the stove, which will void the warranty.
Be mindful that when you open the stove door, logs and hot debris may roll out of the firebox towards you. Never open the door when the flames are high.
Always ensure that the firebox door is closed both when in operation and when out of operation.
We would recommend that you have your chimney or flue cleaned every 12 months.
Never use flammable liquids to light the fire.
Never open the door when the flames are high.
Never place objects on, or in the stove that may cause explosion, i.e. cigar lighter, TV remote control, flammable liquids, aerosol cans etc, etc.
Never place combustible objects on, or near the stove.
Never use spirits to clean the stove, as this can remove the paint.
Never use abrasive cleaning materials to clean the ceramic glass, or the stove.
Modern Stoves: 0161 439 6568