What is the best kind of wood to use?
The kind of wood you burn is not the only issue.
- Birch wood is the easiest to light.
- Hardwoods like ash burn for a long time, but can be more difficult to set light to.
- But regardless of the kind of wood – make sure it is dry
Remember to check the quality of the wood
The quality of the wood is as important as the kind of wood you use. Fundamentally, there are three key factors:
- Moisture content
- The size of the logs
- How you light the fire
Wood for burning must not have a moisture content of more than 20%. Any higher than this and the wood will produce less energy, pollute more and leave more soot on the glass – to mention just a few disadvantages. Use a moisture meter to test just how wet your wood is. Another way to find out whether your wood is dry enough is to smear a drop of washing-up liquid on one end of a log, then blow through it from the other end. If the soap forms a bubble, you are good to go.
The size of the logs is important if the fire is to burn well and efficiently. If you are chopping your own wood, remember that smaller logs dry faster. You should use 2–3 kg of finely chopped wood for kindling. The remaining logs can be more coarsely chopped. The size of the logs is important to ensure they catch fire quickly, which also reduces the amount of unburned gases that escape up the chimney.
If you chop your own wood, it is important to stack it correctly and in a suitable place.
- Don’t stack the wood directly on the ground. Lift it slightly off the ground using some pallets or a couple of boards.
- Choose an airy place for your woodpile, so that the sun and wind can contribute as much as possible to the drying process.
- Don’t cover the woodpile until the wood has dried out.
How to light a fire
When it comes to lighting the fire in a modern wood-burning stove, three things are important:
- Light the fire from the top. This improves the rate of combustion and reduces the amount of unburned gases escaping up the chimney.
- Make sure the fire is supplied with enough air. This is important for the fire to burn efficiently and provide you with the heat and cosiness you expect. This applies both to lighting the fire and keeping it going. You should not throttle the air vents and “burn round”.
- Artificial firelogs and compressed wood logs are not suitable for use in our stoves. Pure wood is strongly recommended.
Watch our short films showing how to light a modern stove and keep it burning properly.