Prepare your wood burning stove Open the Airwash and Primary Air Controls fully to ensure the fire gets the air supply it needs to establish properly. There is an indicator at the top of many appliances to show which direction to move the control from closed to open. You will find that many appliances also have a secondary air control to provide a cleaner burn and give greater thermal efficiency and most have this control factory set. (Please refer to your user manual just to confirm that controls that your appliance has)
Open the door of your wood burning stove and create a firebed. Place firelighters, or paper, and dry kindling wood on the grate (multi-fuel version) or firebed (wood burning version) – kindling wood is very dry, small pieces of wood and twigs that will catch alight easily. A successful fire initially requires plenty of kindling to establish a hot firebox and warm the chimney to aid flue performance.
Light the paper or firelighters. Wait for the kindling to catch alight and start burning vigorously. Note the position of the log guard and the air inlet holes at the back of the stove as they are important features of the appliance. The log guard holds all the burning fuel inside the firebox and keeps it away from the glass. To create a cleaner and more efficient heat output, the air inlet holes circulate heated secondary air back into the burn chamber to reignite unburnt combustible gases.
Leave the door slightly open. By doing this, you will increase the flue pull to assist in lighting the fire and avoid condensation building up on the inside of the glass.
Add larger pieces of wood. Once the kindling is burning well; add larger pieces of split wood to create a stable firebed. Do not use full sized logs at this stage, build up gradually in size. Too many logs may smother the fire. For safety and efficiency reasons do not load fuel above the log guard and the secondary combustion air inlets at the back of the firebox.
You may now shut the door. Add larger pieces of wood when necessary.
For homeowners lighting their wood-burning stoves for the first time, operate the appliance at a low temperature for the first few days to settle the glues and allow paint to fully cure. During this time the appliance may give off some unpleasant odours. Keep the room well ventilated to avoid a build-up of fumes. Please be aware that, during use, rope seals may discolour. This is normal.