If you are intending to chop up the wood yourself, you should do it early in the spring. You can then cut the wood up into short lengths before you split it and stack it outside over the summer. A lot of water will come out of the wood, so remember to store it in a place with plenty of ventilation.
To check whether the wood is dry enough, you can bang the logs together and listen out for a “singing” sound. If you put a wooden log in a tight plastic bag in a warm room, moisture will appear on the inside of the bag if the wood is too damp. In actual fact, the easiest way to identify whether the wood is dry is by the noticeable cracks in it. Your dealer can also check your dry wood with a moisture meter, please contact your nearest dealer for more information
Tips on types of wood
Rowan, beech, oak, ash, maple and birch are regarded as the best types of wood for an open fire. But many people also prefer conifers because of the crackling sound they make, but these types of tree produce sparks, which can cause a fire hazard.
Tips on lighting a fire
There are several ways to light a fire, but you must always be careful about what you put in your stove. Never use painted or pressure impregnated wood or plastics containing chlorine, such as PVC. This gives off highly poisonous gases. Do not use driftwood from the sea as fuel. This contains salt which converts to chlorine when it is burned. You can wash the salt out of driftwood by leaving it outside in the elements for at least a couple of years.
Wood that you store outside or in cold spaces should be in room temperature for at least one day before you use it. Split the lighting wood into approx. 4 cm in diameter. This will simplify the lighting and may give the chimney draught a quicker start.
Before you light a fire you should open all the air vents; some stoves have only one, while others may have two. The easiest way to light a fire is as follows:
- Place two logs in the bottom of the burn chamber and stack thin split-up logs in layers up to the holes for secondary air. Finish with a fair sized log on top.
- Place 2–3 fire briquettes, or similar, right beneath the top layer with thin split-up logs and light it.
- With normal draught you may now shut the door and the fire will take care of itself.
Another good idea is to place two logs on either side of the burn chamber. Place some crumpled up paper between them and create a stack of thin split-up logs on top. You can then add more paper if you need to. You may have to watch that the fire gets sufficient air supply the first 10-15 minutes; it depends on the draught whether you need to supply extra air through the door.
Add fuel to the stove often, but only a little amount at a time. If the fire is too strong, the thermal stress in the chimney may be unnecessarily high. Fire with moderation. Prevent the fire from smouldering as this produces excessive emissions. You get the best result when the fire is burning steadily and the smoke from the chimney is almost invisible.