Tips & Advice
If you are new to log burning or if you are experienced some of the below information might be of interest , if you don't mind taking the time to read on, but if it's all too much why not call us for a chat and we can talk through the various options we have available on 01661 881957 or 07802735801
Choosing the correct wood to burn is the most fundamental thing to get right when you’re burning wood. It might be surprising, but green wood is around 50 per cent water. That means that for every kg of green wood you add to the fire, you’re effectively adding around 500ml (a pint) of water. This means that you will need to make sure that your fuel has been dried properly, so using Kiln Dried Logs is the best option.
Lighting your fire
There are numerous tricks to light your fire, paper, sticks, fire lighters etc and it tends to be down to personal preference. We use a small amount of kindling to help kick start the logs but we hear very good reports about hot air blowers, particularly the Grenadier electric fire lighter which plugs in and blows hot air onto your kindling and logs speeding up the lighting process, and it works out much cheaper than fire lighters, can last up to 40 years, and it costs out at less than a penny of electricity per light up .
Air vents for your stove or fire.
Having a good air flow helps your fire burn & light efficiently. Open full to light the fire and turn down once at required temperature to save on log wastage and keep the fire ticking over. Set the vents where you get the best heat that you need from your own stove as all stoves are different.
Never completely close the secondary air vent. Never (I really mean it). It’s the easiest way to create soot and tar and completely coat the glass on the front of your stove with gunk (a technical term).
Don’t leave the stove door open, unless you have been specifically instructed to by the manual when lighting the fire. You are crippling your stove’s efficiency and allowing all the lovely warm air in the room to shoot off straight up the chimney.
Remember you’re always looking for a hot, fast burn, as this will be the cleanest, most efficient way of running the stove. A small hot fire is much more efficient than a large slow-burning one.
Keep you ash tray regularly cleaned, don't let it build up too much ash, it helps you stove or fire to perform and intake air.
Maintenace of your log stove.
Regularly clean the glass if you have glass, looks much nicer and protects from build up of greasy film and dirt.
Always have a spare glass available, so if the worst happens and you drop a log into your fire and it breaks you can replace the next day, or get in a specialist if you can't do it yourself. If you have one in reserve he can fit it immediately, there is nothing worse than staring at a stove that's empty, off and cold .
Get your servicing done on a regular basis. Lots of users don't realise that a log stove needs TLC, paying particular attention to all seals ( fireproof of course ) if you can pull a piece of newspaper through the seal in closed position they need replacing . Generally seals are supposed to be air tight. Fire bricks if broken should be replaced immediately.
If when starting you fire /stove /burner it kicks smoke back into room, but was fine yesterday , check to see if the wind is from an usual direction or if it's really cold the chimney can blow back. Basically you've got a cold chimney/flue, the best remedy is to lay out the fire in normal fashion but compress newspaper into a few tight balls and put on top then light the newspaper and get a good flame up the exhaust/chimney, this will warm the cold air quickly and pushes the cold air out and up and then the fire should draw when your secondary lighting takes hold .
Chimney maintenance, don't neglect your chimney & get an expert in. Remember to have your chimney swept by a professional sweep, either a Guild of Master Sweeps or NACS member, at least once a year is the recommendation. Never light a fire for the first time without having the chimney swept. It may be blocked and harmful fumes and smoke may enter the room. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance and use. If you smell fumes or smoke is entering the room, put the fire out, open the windows and leave the room. Do not relight the fire until the appliance has been checked by a qualified engineer. Ask for a list of SFA recommended HETAS Registered Engineers in your area. If you know that your chimney is not covered with a spinner, birds netting or cowl, get one, no if or buts. Crows love sitting on warm chimney stacks and filling in empty spaces and they will carry on filling your chimney until it comes level to the top! That can amount to many metres of material and it's a filthy and expensive job to sort out, and believe us when we say they can do it in a few weeks without your knowlege and aways tend to do it in the summer when your appliance may be off . Also crows can and will pull netting off a chimney , so best fit an anti crow device .
If your are buying a new stove always buy a pair of heat resistant gloves, they always come in handy as some stoves have very hot handles.
You will need a good quality dust pan and brush.
Carrying your logs to the fire especially if you have them outside in your log store, garage etc, - the cheapest way is to buy a large bag with double straps, holds plenty of weight and lots of logs and when you get to your fire /stove they crumple up to a tight ball and you can store it in your side basket, neat and tidy and ready for the next refill.
Be careful stacking your logs at the side of your stove or fire, they look decorative and attractive but be wary as they can get very hot and singe, it all depends on the heat your stove or fire generates and the distance between the logs and your fire.
Contamination You should not use firewood that has been produced from wood contaminated or treated wood. Contamination includes: Varnished, painted or plastic-coated wood, wood treated with wood preservatives including stains, and creosote, household waste. Contamination can affect the amount and composition of tar and deposits building up in the flue. This may increase the risk of corrosion and shorten the lifespan of the heating appliance. Burning contaminated wood may release noxious chemicals into the atmosphere and can often leave melted debris in the ash, and may have health implications when burnt.
Generally your log stove or fire is designed to keep you warm and if you put the best of fuel in that you can, you will receive the best of heat possible. That's why we sell Kiln Dried Ash we have found that it's the king of hardwood logs available.
Please note the above advice is based on years of log burning and we in no way can be held responsible for the advice , you should always seek professional advice for any problems you encounter .
In the first instance of a any problem, best to call your installer or a professional , or if you have ended up with a stove in the property, ie inherited , call the local supplier of that type of appliance for a survey before use. Fires out of control are not recommended .
Smoke Control Legislation
Great numbers of solid fuel users live in smoke control areas and therefore have to comply with the Clean Air Act. It is an offence to cause smoke from a chimney in a smoke control area, you should make sure you only use an authorised smokeless fuel. It is an offence for a householder to obtain an unauthorised fuel for use in a building in a smoke control area. There is an exception if the appliance is exempt. Exempt appliances can burn bituminous coal and sometimes wood without creating smoke. They are tested and approved by Defra. Full details of exempt appliances are available from the Solid Fuel Association. To find out if you are in a smoke control area, you should contact your local Environmental Health Department and give them your postcode.
It is your responsibility to ensure you can burn logs in your stove or fire as we are unaware of the stove or appliance you are using at time of delivery.