How to light your woodburning stove

Lighting your Stove

Whilst there are various methods of lighting your fire and there are no right and wrong ones providing you manage to get it going, my preferred method is top down burning. It rarely fails to work for me and once set up it needs very little attention unlike methods where you build a tepee of kindling and then add more kindling and larger pieces as it gets going.

I start off with two pieces of split logs about 10-15cm across at the ends and wedge shaped. These are place slightly apart to form a vee in the middle. I then place two larger pieces of kindling at right angles to form a bridge over the gap, on top of this further pieces of kindling are built up like jenga blocks but with gaps between them.  On the top of this I place several pieces of scrunched up newspaper and further newspaper around the side.

Set the stove vents for wood burning (if it is a multi-fuel stove) according to your stove instructions, light the newspaper and leave the stove door open about 10mm. You should find that the newspaper sets light to the kindling and the burning newspaper and small kindling starts to warm the flue and create a draught which helps the fire light.

As the kindling starts to burn it will light the pieces underneath and eventually fall into the vee section between the logs setting these alight. This should mean that you do not need to do anything apart from keeping an eye on things to make sure it all lights ok.

You may need to add more kindling if you didn’t have enough on to start with, and occasionally when lighting the newspaper you may need to add a few more sheets but apart from that it should light fine.

Happy burning, and remember if you haven’t had your chimney swept this year, then now is the time to get your local Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, accredited sweep in. Please note this is the busiest time of year so next year book early!


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