Tips for lighting your stove

It's not an exact science:

  • You have a new stove and the first thing you realise is that lighting it is not that simple? 
  • Stoves can lack the air supply that open fires have with their draw up the chimney
  • This means that your stove can sometimes be difficult to start and sometimes when lit is difficult to keep burning properly often requiring you to poke or restart it

Things to check: 

  • If your stove seems to burn well when it's stormy outside then it's usually the difference in air pressure leading to a good 'draw' and better air supply
  • If you don't have a separate air supply perhaps open an external door or window when you are lighting the fire to aid the draw

Wood types: 

  • Ash: Harder and heavy logs & chunky - better for larger stoves & open fires with a big draw
  • Birch: Quick to get going and hot, the most popular choice overall
  • Oak: Similar to ash, good even burn time
  • Combination of birch & ash is best. Start fire with birch - then move on to ash..

Help - My stove screen is turning black

  • Don't let the logs get too close to the glass
  • Stay away from firelighters
  • Keep up the air supply and don't overfill the stove

It's burning too quickly

  • Reduce the air inlet valve and reduce the airwash valve after the fire is up and running (lets air in from the top to stop the screen smoking up..

Burning in a smoke controlled area

  • If you wish to burn logs in your home and you live in a smoke controlled area, you may only do so if you use an 'exempt' appliance; as, under the Clean Air Act 1993. 

Do I live in a smoke controlled area?

Is my applicance exempt?

  • To check, go to
  • An 'exempt' appliance is one that is suitable for burning unauthorised fuels in smoke controlled areas, under Regulations published under the Clean Air Act
  • At the moment there are only a limited number of appliances that have recieved exemption, although many of the stoves for sale in the UK would undoubtedly meet the standard required because according to the Solid Fuel Association they use a system of secondary combustion, which means they burn off or 'eat' their own smoke

Approved / Authorised Applicances

  • Please note that customers must use DEFRA approved stoves for burning firewood in a smoke controlled area