Kindling fire

How to use a wood-burning stove

With the autumn nights starting to draw in and the weather turning cooler, it won’t be long before we turn our thoughts to warming up our homes again. And what better way to do this than with a wood-burning stove? You may have had one for years, or you may have installed one over the summer. Either way, a refresher on how to use it to create the most efficient fire and heat is always welcome. So, here it is… How to best use your wood-burning stove for that warmth and beautiful glow in your living spaces.

Getting the right wood

When it comes to fire, and one in a wood-burning stove in particular, not all woods were created equal. Ideally, you want a mix of hard and soft woods to give you that optimum blend of heat and efficiency. Oak, birch, beech, ash and apple are excellent options for wood-burning stoves.

Wood type is not the only thing that is important; seasoning is also critical. This ensures that the logs are dry and have the right amount of moisture in them for optimum burning. Our recent article on kiln-dried vs seasoned logs gives you a good insight into the process and why it’s important.

Stack it well

It’s easy to think that getting a whole load of wood into the stove to keep the fire going for a while is a good idea. In fact, the opposite is true. Loading the stove with a lot of logs right at the start means that they get crammed in, leaving little room for air to circulate and oxygenate the fire.

The best way of doing it is to take a small number of logs and stack them in a cross pattern. That enables the air to flow around them. Now add some smaller logs on top and some kindling on top of those, all in the same cross pattern as well. You can add an Eco firelighter in the centre of your logs and below the kindling if you like as well – this will help the larger logs to catch quickly.

Next, light the fire at the top. Yes, that’s right. Unlike a traditional fire or one outdoors where you need to protect the flame from wind, it is actually best to light a wood-burning stove fire from the top. This uses the falling embers to help ignite the logs below.

Don’t close the door just yet, leave it slightly ajar to allow the air to circulate and enable the fire to catch. Once it is burning well, and the flame has moved down and the logs have caught as well, you can close the door and set your controls to normal running mode.

Keep your wood-burning stove in good working order by cleaning it out regularly and staying on top of annual servicing and maintenance and it should keep you warm all winter without any glitches.

If you are looking to replace or install a new wood-burning stove before winter sets in, now is the time to call us at Fiveways Fires & Stoves. We’re on the phone on 020 8127 4747 and on email at whenever you are ready.