There’s nothing quite like the warmth and comfort that a multi-fuel or wood burner can bring to a room on those cold, winter nights. Whilst certainly acting as a wonderful addition to any living space, it is extremely important that the proper steps are taken to ensure that you have the most enjoyable and safest possible experience with your stove or wood burner.

Solid fuel stoves are extremely different to gas and electric fires, and will need more care and maintenance than an open coal fire.

However, they are stunning to watch, cost effective. With a little practice, you can become a stove lighting expert and get the best out of you stove. Below is an easy to follow step-by-step guide on how to successfully light a fire in your stove.

Step 1

Open the air controls fully

Step 2

Place a firelighter, or 5 to 10 pieces of tightly twisted newspaper onto the grate (firelighters are not cheating, they are designed to light fires so are very useful)

Step 3

With the kindling, build a wigwam, or crib of over the fire lighting material. You must make sure the kindling is really dry.

Step 4

Light the firelighter or paper and close the door, leaving the door slightly ajar. This will reduce the condensation on the glass as it warms up.

Step 5

Once the kindling is burning well, place a small log or two (or some smokeless briquettes) on the fire, leaving the door slightly ajar still until the logs catch well.

Step 6

Close the door and allow the fire to build up by adding another small logo or two or some smokeless fuel. If the fire dies down then slightly open the door again to give it more air.

Step 7

Leave the fire to burn through and get fully warmed up before reducing the air controls down to a running position.


Don’t leave the stove unattended whilst warming up, as this could potentially lead to over firing.


Common Problems

If you experience any difficulty keeping logs burning, this is often down to the fact that the air controls have been shut down too soon, before everything has properly warmed up.


It is also imperative that you check your wood is less than 20% moisture (inside the log when split) – use a moisture meter for this.


Getting your flue swept and checked annually can also ensure you don’t experience slow burning and smoking.


You should also have your stove serviced annually.