How to light the perfect Wood Burning Stove

Lighting a wood burning stove is simple to do and here are some simple steps that will help you make your wood burning stove spark into life.

There is no one set way to light a fire in a wood burning stove and seasoned stove owners all have their own individual ways of lighting. But following a set of procedures based on the following will generally achieve good results:


First, remove any ash from the stove. If the stove is a multifuel stove where the only air supply is from beneath the stove grate then you will need to make sure that the grate is clear from ash and that the ashpan is empty.


Open the bottom air vents of the stove and if you have one, open the flue damper. Crumple some pages of newspaper into loose balls or alternatively tie them into knots or other shapes. Generally around 8-10 sheets of newspaper will suffice and these should be piled in the centre of the firebox. 

Next lay some kindling on top of the newspaper in different directions. Small pieces of wood or sticks are perfect. Then place a few larger pieces or sticks on top. 

To ensure the fire burns with maximum efficiency it is best to use seasoned firewood logs, wood that has been chopped and left in a dry enclosed place (ideally for two years). You will get less heat from unseasoned wood and wood that has just been chopped and is full of sap is the worst kind to use as energy is used to dry the wood out, rendering it much less efficient resulting in less heat being emitted.


Light the newspaper in a couple of places at the bottom and when this is taking light close the door of the stove. Firelighters are an option to help accelerate the lighting process but they are entirely optional.


Once the wood has caught alight and the fire is going well inside the stove have larger pieces of dry, seasoned wood ready to add. Place these on top of the fire taking care not to overfill the box, and only using around 3-4 pieces of wood at a time.


At this stage you can turn the air supply down a little but aim to maintain good flames whilst not letting the fire smoulder.


If you have air vents at the top of the stove then close down the air vents at the bottom and open those at the top. You may need to do this gradually as the fire develops.


Then sit back and enjoy the heat and atmosphere created by a wood burning stove.


Depending on the brand of stove that you have and the heat level at which you want to let your stove burn, this will influence the regularity at which you will need to top up with more logs. For example,Portway Stoves are amongst the most efficient stoves on the market, boasting efficiencies of over 70%! They are also exceptionally economical to run and can easily burn for 10 hours or more and will consume less fuel to get more heat compared to similar products.