These five simple ingredients will make sure you’re lighting your wood burning fire properly and getting as much time and efficiency out of your fire as possible.
1. Thin bed of ash
Wood burns better on a thin bed of ash as it forms a nice insulating layer which helps to direct the heat upwards into the wood. Whilst it’s good to clear out the grate every so often, ensure that you always leave a thin layer as the foundation for your next fire.
Wood also needs a good supply of oxygen to burn well, so open up the air controls. Many stoves will have a separate air control for the air coming in at the bottom of the stove (usually through the grate if there is one).
3. Seasoned firewood
Always use dry (seasoned) firewood as it burns better. Wet wood can be difficult (if not impossible) to light, and it can create lots of tars and smokes that can be corrosive and potentially damaging to the lining of the flue.
Wood needs to be dried in a sunny, well aired space for one or two summers. If the wood is cracked and bark comes off easily, it suggests that it’s well-seasoned wood. If possible, use locally produced wood, as it not only improves fuel security and reduces carbon footprint, it also brings economic benefits to your local community.
4. Right amount of logs
Remember the old saying about lighting a log fire “One can’t, two won’t, three will” – this relates to the minimum number of logs you will need, a single log will not light on its own!
To get your fire started, stack your firewood loosely with lots of air space. If you stack your wood densely, no air will get to the wood and your fire will struggle to start. Ensure that your logs are arranged so that you get good air flow through the fuel bed.
5. The Grenadier Firelighter
Lighting a fire won’t be complete without the award-winning Grenadier Firelighter. Place the nozzle of the Grenadier just touching the base of the wood, and turn on the heat using the removable safety key. And at less than 1p per fire, it’s much more cost effective and efficient than using newspaper, kindling, matches or chemical firelighters.