How to use a wood burning stove

Nothing beats the cozy warmth of a wood burning stove on a cold winter’s day. However, if you’ve never used one before, you’ll need some basic knowledge to get a fire going.

We have all the tips you need right here:

Inside the wood burning stove

Before you start, it’s good to take a look inside the stove to familiarise yourself with the different parts.

You should see the firebox, with air vents above and below the glass. The bottom vent is the primary vent and the top vent is the secondary vent. The vents let you adjust how quickly your fuel burns by controlling the air supply to the stove.

On the top of the stove you’ll see a pipe coming out of the wood burner. This is the flue, which is a duct that carries away all the waste gases and smoke and directs it to be released outside via the chimney.

Choose the right wood

Start by choosing the right wood. The best wood to use is seasoned wood that’s dried for at least six months. Fresh wood is no good as it contains too much water and will create lots of smoke and creosote which can block up your flue.

You can choose between hardwood and softwood. Hardwoods tend to burn longer and hotter and are ideal for cold winters. Softwoods burn cooler and are perfect for spring or autumn nights.

The fire needs oxygen to burn, and the stove will have air controls to let you open and close the vents that allow air into the firebox. When you’re starting a fire, you’ll want to have all the vents fully open.

Add kindling

Now you need to add some kindling. Kindling is the name for small pieces of wood used for lighting fires. Crumple up five sheets of newspaper into balls. Place them in the middle of the firebox. Lay about ten pieces of kindling on top of the paper.

Start the fire

Using a lighter or match, ignite the newspaper under the kindling. Light the paper in a few places. Always start at the back and work your way toward the front. This will make sure you don’t burn your hand.

Now watch the fire spread through the newspaper and the kindling will start to burn. In about five minutes the kindling will be burning strongly on its own.

Add a few logs to the fire, making sure you don’t smother the fire in the process.

Wait 10-15 minutes and you’ll see the logs have started burning. At this stage you can turn down the air controls a bit.

After about 30-40 minutes the fire will be burning strongly, with lively, rolling flames. The room should now be warm and toasty.

Keep the fire burning

Keep the stove door closed as the fire burns. Opening the door will allow heat to escape which will reduce the fire’s efficiency. Also, you could get smoke into the room, which is not good for your health.

The only time you need to open the door is to add more wood. The time to do this is when the existing logs have burnt to embers, but before all the flames die out. Don’t add too many logs at a time, five is plenty.

Thinking of getting a wood burning stove for your home? Why not chat to our friendly team at Fiveways Fires & Stoves who will be delighted to answer all your questions. Call us on 020 8127 4747 or email us at .