How to use your wood burning stove
CUSTOMERS will often ask James the Sweep for sound advice about how to get the best use out of the wood burning stove.
It’s a typical question that James encounters whenever he is sweeping chimneys in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Southborough, Maidstone and the like.
If you would like some simple ABC pointers, do take time to read the info below. Remember too the basic rule that burning wood with a moisture content of 20 per cent or less (test it to see) and at a higher temperature will ensure you maximise the use of your fuel, save you money and also have a better effect on the environment.
Volatile fuel gases produced by fire need a safe passage out of the chimney, which is an issue if you don’t have the chimney swept because there will be a dangerous build-up of soot and other residue. These volatile vapours are more likely to form into sticky tar in the flue if the fire is not hot enough.
That’s a situation which can be avoided. Firstly though, make sure that your woodburner is a good condition (if you’re not sure, call back your installer and ask for a review) and that the chimney has been given a thumbs-up by James the Sweep – Master Sweep for towns and villages throughout Kent.
To light a fire, get some small burning material such as firelighters or kindling. Make sure the air controls are opened to get the heat level increased as quickly as possible. Gently put some larger logs on the flames as it burns and then shut the stove door when the fire is looking strong.
Don’t let the temperature of the stove go down! Keep laying big logs of wood and shut one of the air controls to encourage the air to the flames an open the stove door slightly if needed. A flue pipe thermometer is pretty handy to let you know if the appliance has hit the correct temperature.
The air flow can be decreased slowly using the secondary control but always ensure the flames are looking cheerful. You don’t want to waste fuel by turning down the controls before the fire is established. And never slumber a fire overnight – it’s a waste of time, a waste of heat, a waste of money (uses fuel and causes soot) and a waste of air.
If you notice smoke at the top of the chimney after a quarter of an hour, make sure the controls are at the correct setting. If so, open the controls again until there’s no smoke at the top.
If you’re not sure how to use your woodburner – just ask James the Sweep when he next visits to sweep your chimney.
You can contact James to book a chimney sweep on 07587 134 589.
For further tips on using your wood burning stove, have a look at the BurnRight website.