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How to light the perfect fire in a wood burning stove

1. Wood burns best on a layer of ash so you always need to ensure there is a nice flat bed of ash at the base of the fire. This will of course not be possible if you have just bought your stove and it is the first time you are lighting it, but thereafter it is always best to leave at least some ash in the fire bed and is not advisable to burn straight onto the grate or base brick every time.

2. To get your fire started, you will need small pieces of wood called kindling. These small pieces create a good, strong flame which warms the chimney up and gets the inside of the stove hot enough to put your logs on. Softwood or kiln dried kindling is best and must not be treated or painted wood. The kindling must be spaced out evenly to allow a good airflow and we recommend 3 layers arranged in a criss-cross, or camp-fire fashion. You can buy kindling and natural fire lighters here.

3. When your stove is all laid up with firelighters and kindling, the next step is of course to light it. Using matches or a lighter, light the firelighters. Open the air controls on the stove and leave the door open ajar. Leaving the door open slightly will do 2 things. Firstly, it will ensure more air gets inside the stove so the kindling will light quicker and secondly, it should stop the glass from misting up as the air wash system in your stove will not be up to temperature yet to help keep the glass clear.

4. Make sure you start off with a couple of small logs to begin with as the stove is not up to temperature yet, putting a large piece of wood on may kill the fire. The same as with the kindling ensure they are spaced out evenly to allow a good airflow and not too close to the glass, as this can cause it to blacken up! Close the door on the stove and over the course of a few minutes; slowly close the air controls down. Try not to close them down entirely; this will smother the fire as there will be no oxygen to allow the fire to burn. Make sure the wood you are using is well seasoned and has not been treated with anything. You can buy wood here, or if you are seasoning your own wood, it is best to use a moisture meter so you know when your logs are dry enough to burn. IMPORTANT Only burn wood with less than 20% moisture. We sell moisture meters.

5. Last but not least, sit back and enjoy your stove!