There are many ways to light a fire, and plenty of opinions on how and what to do. You may already have your method down to a tee, but if not, read on for an easy step-by-step guide to lighting your wood burning fire or stove quickly and efficiently.
It’s all about temperature
Wood burning and multi-fuel Stoves and Built-in, glass fronted fires work like an engine. They require fuel and oxygen to burn well, which is drawn through the air controls. However, to create a powerful draw, the flue or chimney needs to be warm. This will naturally pull more air into the stove, which is what it needs to get the wood burning well. And the hotter the fire burns, the more powerful the draw. But if you’re lighting your fire for the first time in the day, both the appliance and chimney are probably pretty cool, which will mean flue draw is at its weakest. Building the fire a little bit differently to the usual methods can speed up the time it takes to for the flue to warm up, increase draw and get your logs burning beautifully and cleanly.
The top down technique
1. Start by selecting some small to mid-sized logs. Remember to choose good quality Ready To Burn wood with a low moisture content. Place these in the bottom of the stove, leaving a gap between each for airflow.
2. Place two smaller logs across the larger ones below.
3. On top of the logs, place an eco firelighter and two smaller logs either side.
4. Using around six to eight pieces of kindling, create a stack. About three or four high should do the trick, but it won’t hurt to go a little higher. Place an eco fire lighter or two on top of your stack.
Light the top most fire lighters and keep the stove door slightly open to make sure they catch. Once the top pieces of kindling are burning, close the door and make sure all the air controls are open. Once the logs have ignited below the kindling, set the air controls to normal running mode. On models like our Stockton 5, View 5 stoves or the Yeoman CL5, you can close the controls below the door and leave the Airwash control open (located above the door). On models like the Sheraton, Vision and Voguestoves, you can simply set the single air control to ‘nominal running’.
Why this method works so well
There are a some major reasons why this method works so well. By placing the firelighter higher up in the stove, it starts heating the cold air in the chimney instantly, and that means more draw and more air being drawn into the woodburner – which is exactly what the fire needs. The firelighter will ignite the kindling below and as it burns pieces will drop down, igniting the bottom kindling and the larger logs further down.
Burning wood produces the most smoke when you first light your stove, and the least smoke when they have warmed up and are burning efficiently. So getting your stove hot is your first priority to ensure a good fire with a clean burn. With this easy to follow, top down method, you should be able to get your fire going quickly and cleanly. It’s worth remembering that the way your stove or fire burns will depend on the model, installation and chimney conditions. Choose one of our good quality Stovax stoves or fires and purchase from your local expert retailer who will be able to ensure it is installed correctly and that your chimney is in good working order.