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The first thing to say is that there are many ways to do this. If you have your own tried and trusted method that's fine. If you are new to this then here are a few pointers to give you confidence.

There is a difference between multi fuel stoves and wood burners:

  • A multi fuel stove will be using coal as well as wood. Coal needs a free flow of air from under the grate so the stove will need to be regularly cleaned out so that ash does not build up or it will “drown” the coal.
  • Wood however burns happily on it's bed of ash so needs to be cleaned out less often.

What to do

Preparation

  1. Open the bottom vents fully
  2. Close the top vents, including the turbo if one is fitted

Setup the kindling

  1. Place a fire lighter on the grate or floor of the stove
  2. Arrange between 6 and 10 small kindling sticks around it in a 'wigwam' fashion
  3. Light the fire lighter and close the door carefully

After 5 minutes the kindling should be burning well and the chimney will have started to warm up

Adding more fuel to the kindling

When adding wood to stoves always put them in gently to avoid damaging the “cheeks” (sides) of the stove

Now that the kindling is burning well and some heat is being produced some small logs can be added to the fire

  1. Add 2 or 3 small logs to the fire being careful not to crush the kindling fire
  2. Give the small logs a 5 minutes to catch fire and generate some heat
  3. Open the top vents about 75%
  4. Open the turbo about 50%
  5. Fully close the bottom vents

Adding larger logs to increase the fire

As the smaller logs start to burn away and give heat to the stove, chimney and room, larger logs can be added to the fire:

  1. Open the door with care, using a stove glove as the handle may be hot.
  2. Add a larger log to the fire
  3. Allow it 2 to 5 minutes to catch and start burning

Once the flames start to run quickly through the chamber the vents can be modified to increase the heat output and the length of time a log will last

  1. Decrease the top vents to 50%
  2. Decrease the turbo to 25%
  3. Continue to decrease the top vents too and turbo to slow the speed of the flames but still provide sufficient oxygen to keep the fire going
Each fire is different so the vents and turbos may need to modified to allow the fire to continue burning at a comfortable heat and speed. If the vents are closed down completely the fire will die and often result in the glass becoming black with soot. Getting the right amount of air into the stove will require some practice. All of our stoves come with instructions which contain information on the best way to light and use them.

Additional information about vent control

The top vents will be washing air down over the front of the glass helping it to stay clear. The air that has been introduced to the top of the chamber will ensure there is plenty of flame in that area which will be burning the gases and resins given off by the fuel sitting below. This will cause an extra clean, extra efficient burn of the fuel.

The heat of the fire can be controlled by the amount of air allowed in the stove so the top and bottom vents have a range of positions between fully open and fully closed, an occasional tweak to them will keep the fire burning at the most comfortable rate for the occupants of the room. Fully open will result in a cold fire as most of the heat will escape up the chimney, fully closed will put it out fairly swiftly as the fire needs oxygen to burn.

Once the fire has been burning for some time and the chimney and fire are hot the vents can be used to increase the heat output of the stove. Partially closing the vents will result in the most efficient burn process and blue-ish flames will start to appear in the fire. As long as there is enough oxygen and enough of an air wash the glass will stay clear and the fire will plenty of heat. Getting the right balance for your fire and your room can take a little getting use to, but practice makes perfect.

If all vents are closed while the fire is lit then the glass will probably blacken up so it is best to allow the fire to die down gradually by not adding more fuel.

Don't forget to arrange for chimney sweep to service your chimney at least once a year in an active chimney. It may require more frequent sweeping depending on usage and fuel being burnt. Ask the staff at our showroom or your chimney sweep for more guidance.