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3 tips on how to use your woodburner

Well, it’s simple… isn’t it? You just grab a bit of paper, throw it in the stove, put kindling on top – and then set it alight with big logs?
Not exactly. Learning how to use a wood burning stove correctly will maximise the fuel energy and also save you money. Consumers can sometimes learn bad burning habits. And that’s why it makes sense to take a bit of time out and read these three simple tips by James the Sweep on how to use your woodburner correctly. Remember too, that you must only use a woodburner if the chimney flue has been swept regularly by James. There must be no blockage, which can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or an uncontrolled chimney fire.

Anyway, here at the three tips:-

Check the woodburner

The wood burning stove itself needs to be of a good quality to withstand the pressures of hosting of a fire. There should be no problems with the structure itself, such as cracks or air controls not working, or bad connections to the flue. If you are not sure, just ask James the Sweep for an opinion. That’s not to say you have to be over obsessed about it. The point is that your stove needs to be in top condition at all times to ensure you can enjoy safe fires.

Sort your wood

Make sure your wood is dry (moisture content of 20 per cent of less) and stored in a raised log store outside, which is protected from the elements. Use dry kindling and build it in a tiny pyramid in the stove, using firelighters if appropriate. Once the initial fire is alight, place smaller logs and then (when the smaller logs are alight, after about a quarter of an hour) larger logs on top as the flames strengthen. Remember that fires need to be burnt at a higher temperature to maximise fuel efficiency. Never slumber wood overnight. It’s not an efficient use of your wood as fuel.

Know your air flow and temperatures

Also ensure the air controls are open when you light the fire before closing the door. The primary control should be closed once the fire has taken hold and the temperature climbs up. The secondary control can then be used to control the air intake but always make sure there is a flow of air to keep the flames healthy. A flue pipe thermometer is ideal for ensuring your fire is burning at the desired temperature. If you find smoke is coming out of the top of your chimney, then more air is needed using the controls.

If you have any questions about using your woodburner – just ask James the Sweep, Master Chimney Sweep for Tunbridge Wells.