How To Light A Woodburner

How to light a woodburner

How to light a woodburner effectively will pay dividends when it comes to generating heat this winter.

The following article explores how to light a woodburner cleanly and efficiently using Hot Box Firestarter. 

A bit about woodburners…

If you have a wood burner already, or if you are considering making a purchase, you will not be disappointed. A woodburner is a great addition to any home or living space.

As the colder winter evenings draw in, there is little to compete with cosy evenings in front of a roaring fire.

However, before you think about firing up your wood burner this season, get some tips from the expert Fire-starters at Hot Box.

How to use a wood burner

If you are considering buying a wood burner, it is best to take some advice from experts.

The size and type of woodburner is critical.

Getting the heat output right for your room is of paramount importance.

Our advice is to consult an expert installation company and get a quote.

Alternatively, you can get an idea of the size that you will need using the following calculation.

Measure your room for a woodburner:

Length x width x ceiling height = Volume of space to heat ➗14.

For example, a room measuring 5m x 5m x 2.5m would require a 4.46 kw appliance.

However, there is no hard and fast rule and external factors such as Insulaiton levels, orientation, connection to other spaces etc may also come in to play.

Further, if you do require a stove larger than 5kw, building regulations stipulate that combustion air needs to be provided.

Such air may be connected directly to a compatible appliance or may need to come directly into the room via an air vent fitted to an external wall.

How to make a fire in a wood burner

Some argue that there are several stages to making a successful fire in a wood burner.

Further, if a fire is lit incorrectly, your woodburner may not reach optimum temperature to optimise combustion.

However, Hot Box have condensed the process into a simple three step process using only one component, Hot Box Firestarter.

Further, you will need to ensure your wood is well seasoned and dry with a moisture content of less than 20% – if buying wood in smaller volumes look out for the Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn label’ which guarantees this.

When lighting your stove we recommend the following method.

  1.  Leave a small amount of ash in the bottom.
  2. Place 4 logs on the base, stacked in opposite directions.
  3. Add Hot box Firestarter on top of the logs.
  4. Light and close the door but leave the air vent open.

Within around town minutes the temperature inside your firebox will have reached a sufficient temperature to create auto ignition of the logs.

This method, often referred to as the ‘top down method’ will achieve maximum efficiency and minimises emissions.

Check out our video which sets it out in time lapse form.

How hot does a wood burner get?

The optimum temperature for a wood burner is between 260 and 460 centigrade.

However, the heat produced by a fire in a wood burner may vary based upon the following factors:

  • Chimney draft, if connected to a twin wall flue or flue liner, the draft will be greatly improved.
  • Use of air controls, if the air controls of your stove are left fully open, the hotter the fire will burn.
  • How the fire is built, using Hot Box Firestarter ensures your fire is correctly built from the start so grater temperatures will be achieved more quickly.

Using wet or unseasoned wood will not produce high temperatures, always ensure your logs are ‘oven ready’ with a moisture content of less than 20%.

To test the moisture content of logs, simply split one down the middle using an axe or hatchet and use a moisture meter to check the content.

How many logs do I need to put in a wood burner?

This will vary depending upon the size and output of your appliance. However, it is important not to overload your woodburner.

Add logs as required as the fire bed builds, add a one or two logs at a time to facilitate effective combustion by allowing air to flow around the fuel.

How to get maximum heat from wood burner

Using Hot Box will ensure that you achieve the perfect base for your wood fire.

However, there are certain factors that may prevent your woodburner from achieving optimum temperatures.

Further, you can achieve the maximum heat from your woodburner by:

What wood burns best on a wood burner?

The to 6 woods to burn in a wood burner are:

  1. Ash: a hardwood that is considered the best for burning; it gives out a good flame
    and heat, and will burn when green, however, it is never a good idea to burn green
    wood in a stove.
  2. Beech: considered a rival to ash, though not a close one. It does tend to spit out
    embers far into the room, so beware using in an open fire, but ideal for a stove.
  3. Birch: a hardwood that produces a good heat but it burns quickly. The smell is
  4. Thorn: one of the best woods. It burns slowly, giving a good heat and not much
  5. Cherry: another hardwood that burns slowly, giving out good heat. It also gives
    off a nice smell when burnt.
  6. Oak: a hardwood, it gives out few flames but the smoke is acrid. Dry old oak is
    excellent for heat, burning slowly and steadily.

Where to buy wood fuel for wood burners

Buying fuel locally is more efficient and better for the planet.

Further, at Hot Box, we advocate the use of properly seasoned locally sourced hardwood logs.

To find a fuel supplier and order online, we recommend The Stove Guys Directory. 

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