Getting a new log burner installed? Whether it's a wood burning stove or freestanding fire, follow these simple steps to make sure everything's ready to go, so you can crack on with lighting your new wood burner for the first time, and begin enjoying its warm glowing ambience.
So you’ve done your research, you’ve been to see your local fireplace shop, selected your dream stove or fire, and you’ve just had it installed in your home. What’s next?
Well, before you leap head first into new woodburner ownership, you’ll definitely want to consider the below additional steps before you start using your log burner for the first time.
So boil the kettle and have a read through these top tips, and once they’re ticked off your to-do list, you’ll be enjoying the warm glowing ambience of your wood burner in no time.
Table of contents:
The first step is to ensure the stove and flue have been safely installed and commissioned for use by an approved installer or qualified engineer. This will ensure your installation complies with building regulations which is important for insuring your home. Once completed, they’ll also take care of informing your local authority about the installation work on your behalf and issue you with a certificate of commissioning for your records. This is useful if you need to provide evidence of compliance such as if you come to sell your home for example, as most buyer’s solicitors will want to see this.
Before using your stove, you should make sure to fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm in the same room as your log burner. Once installed ensure you test it regularly and replace the batteries as needed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. For peace of mind, you may wish to increase the frequency in which you test your alarm during the heating season when you’re getting more use from your wood burner. A functioning CO alarm should not be regarded as a substitute for regular maintenance of both the appliance and chimney.
Check to make sure the area around your stove is free from flammable materials and that any furniture is placed far enough away to comply with the distance to combustible guidance for your model. Combustible materials are things such as wood or wood products, plasterboard, plastics, curtains, soft furnishing, or any other material that can burn when heated to a high enough temperature. The minimum clearances required for safe operation vary between models and these can be found in the user manual for your model.
Before diving straight in and lighting your new log burner we’d recommend reading the instruction manual for your stove model carefully and understand how to use the air controls for maximum efficiency.
As a rule of thumb, for burning smokeless fuels on a multi fuel stove, you’ll want to regularly de-ash the grate via the riddling function before reloading to promote good air flow underneath the new fuel. Conversely, logs burn best on a bed of ash approximately 25mm deep, so you’ll want to rake the embers evenly over the ash bed when adding new logs. As different stove and fire models can have one or more air controls, your user manual is also the best place to learn about the different ones yours has and familiarise yourself with how and when to use each one.
If you have small children or pets, you may also want to consider a fire screen or guard to protect them from getting too close to your wood burning stove or fireplace or coming into contact with hot surfaces. Some fireguards can be fitted to wall brackets attached to the wall either side of the chimney breast or fireplace making it more difficult to be meddled with by the more curious ones.
For optimum burning and minimal emissions make sure the wood you are using are kiln dried logs, or dry seasoned logs with a moisture content of less than 20%. If buying your logs from a supermarket, garden centre or other suppliers, one way to ensure the wood is ready for burn straight away is to look for the Woodsure “Ready To Burn” logo on the bag. This means means the wood has been tested and is guaranteed to have less than 20% moisture in it.
When lighting your stove, we recommend using the top down method to ensure your stove and flue reach the optimum temperature as quickly as possible, which is needed for it to create the necessary draw to sustain a fire. Keep the stove door closed as much as possible, and when refuelling, open the door carefully to allow pressure to equalise and keep door opening time to a minimum. Your stove will burn at its most efficient when the stove is closed, and the products of combustion exit through the chimney.
A note on the curing process: To allow your new wood burning stove or fire to settle, and fixing glues and paint finishes to fully cure, we recommend you operate it at a low temperature the first few times. Ensure you don’t touch the paint during the first period of use. During this time the appliance may give off some unpleasant odours so we recommend keeping the room well ventilated. It’s also worth noting that, during use, rope seals may discolour and this is normal.
We hope these tips to take before lighting your stove for the first time have proven useful to help you get started enjoying your new Stovax log burner. Once you’ve been using your new stove or fire for some time, you may wish to check out our tips for how to clean and maintain your new stove so it keeps providing years of enjoyment.
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