Draught in the chimney
If the chimney is completely cold, first you need to let a little warm air into it in order to start a draught. Usually, you will only need to open the fireplace door for a couple of minutes for the warm air in the room to move up the chimney. You can also light a small bit of newspaper on top of the baffle in the fireplace.
In certain circumstances, there may be a downdraught in the chimney. In this case, the air in the chimney wants to go the wrong way: out into the room. This can be caused by a change in the weather or low pressure in the room. In this instance, you need to try to change the air flow in the chimney by burning a little bit of newspaper high up in the fireplace, as well as by opening a window or similar aperture in order to cancel out the low pressure in the room.
Fire briquettes are a simple and effective means of lighting a fire. They should be used as recommended in the user instructions. Birch bark also works very well.
Using wood briquettes as fuel in Jøtul’s wood-burning stoves and fireplaces
What are wood briquettes?
The advice we give here applies to shavings from pure timber, which have been pressed together to form blocks called wood briquettes. Wood briquettes weigh around 0.2 kg to about 1 kg per briquette.
No additives of any sort should be used. It is the timber’s own adhesive, lignin, which binds the shavings through pressing and heating during the briquette production process. Combustion properties can vary greatly and are dependent on the raw material used to manufacture the wood briquettes and how they are produced.
How do you use wood briquettes?
Wood briquettes are used more or less in the same way as normal wooden logs. Wood briquettes are often very compact and dry, compared with the usual wood used for lighting fires. As a result, most types of wood briquettes burn more fiercely than when the equivalent amount of wood is used. This means that you should use fairly small amounts regularly.
User instructions should come with the wood briquettes giving advice on how to use briquettes of the relevant quality safely. Do not shut off the air supply allowing the flames to be smothered, as this creates the risk of unburnt gases igniting, causing an explosion (deflagration).
How much fuel can you add at a time?
As wood briquettes are a type of fuel which can behave in different ways, you need to get to know the briquettes you are using through trial and error. You can start with about 1 kg, based on the normal method for lighting a fire using kindling. Compare this with the use of ordinary wood and gradually increase the amount, but never beyond the amount for creating a normal fire. It is extremely important for you to safeguard against overheating, both in relation to the fireplace and in terms for taking fire safety precautions.
Is Jøtul’s warranty valid when wood briquettes are used as fuel?
Jøtul’s warranty terms for wood products are valid for what Jøtul considers as normal use of the fireplace with wood as fuel. See the user instructions for the relevant fireplace. When using wood briquettes to light the fire, you must take the precautionary measures described above to prevent overheating and other dangerous situations from arising.
Jøtul’s fireplace warranty is valid therefore for the use of wood briquettes to light the fire, provided that they are used in the proper way. Damage caused in connection with overheating or deflagration is not covered by the warranty.
Many people cause overheating when lighting a fire in a cold house and cottages in order to warm them up as quickly as possible. Overheating can damage both the fireplace and the chimney, and also cause a fire. If you have an enamel stove, the enamel will be damaged if you light a big fire which makes the stove red hot. Screws become burnt solid and gaskets can crumble away. Stove plates can become loose, allowing cracks to appear in the stove, which again can lead to the stove having an uncontrolled air supply.
Look out for the risks of overheating and note that the warranty ceases to apply in these cases.
The flames you see in the fireplace are burning gases. Even if the flames gradually die out, the charcoal can continue to glow for a long time. Dry wood from solid deciduous trees burns at a moderate rate and glows for a long time. Light wood from fast-growing trees catches fire quickly and stops glowing more quickly. A normal fire is one that burns steadily, with fuel being added every other hour. The amount of fuel used should not fill any more than about 2/3 of the burn chamber; this calculation is based on using wood as fuel.