charnwoodstoves

With the sudden drop in temperature and an autumn chill in the air, nothing beats a cosy evening nestled by your wood burning stove.

But as we head towards the winter months, your wood burner could need some TLC before its ready to be used more regularly.

To help keep your wood burner well maintained in readiness for those long winter nights, we’ve compiled our tips on how to clean wood burner glass alongside other upkeep advice.

How to keep wood burner glass clean

Your wood burner is not only a source of warmth, it is also a focal point within your home. Many modern generally feature clean-burn air wash which naturally keep the glass clean. However when used regularly, soot may build up on the glass door, which can drastically reduce the view of the fire. The most common cause of this is when wood with a moisture content higher than 20% is burnt or if a burning log is touching the glass.

Here are some do’s and don’ts on how to keep wood burner glass clean.

Do…

Use a damp crumpled paper towel or newspaper, dip it in fine wood ash and use this to rub the stove glass clean.

If there is substantial build up on the glass, burn a high temperature fire in the wood burning stove before you try to clean the glass. Ensure you have plenty of well-seasoned wood in your wood burner to create a fire of a high temperature.

Make sure you use a wood stove glass cleaner, or a ceramic stove top cleaner.

Ensure you wait until the wood burner glass is cool before you attempt to clean it.

Clean your wood burner glass on a regular basis to prevent a build-up of soot.

Don’t…

Never attempt to clean your wood burner glass when there is a fire burning inside the stove or the surface is hot.

Avoid spraying water on hot wood burner glass – this could cause the glass to crack or shatter.

Never use sharp objects or abrasive cleaners to clean your wood burner glass – these could damage and scratch the surface of the glass.

How to clean a wood burner

When it comes to cleaning your wood burner, there are many interior and exterior elements to consider.

Ensure exterior surfaces are cleaned with a soft brush, damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner. These will effectively remove any soot and dirt when the stove is cool.

Take the time to empty out the ash pan and firebox completely when your wood burner is not being used. Inspect the rope seals on the doors and flue, as it is not uncommon for these to become damaged through everyday wear and tear.

Find out more wood burning stove cleaning tips and tricks in our blog: How to clean your wood burning stove.

Why is my wood burner smoking?

If your wood burner is smoking, there could be several reasons, including:

A blocked chimney

The wrong fuel is being used

An issue with the air pressure in the room

A problem with the draw of your chimney

A cold weather snap

To stop your wood burner from smoking, you need to ensure you have the correct air pressure, no chimney blockages and are burning the correct fuel. If you have any further questions about your smoking wood burner, contact us today.

Why does my wood burner smell?

If your wood burner is emitting an unpleasant smell, it is unlikely that this is coming from the wood burner or stove itself. The smell is more likely being caused by other factors, including:

The stove is new and requires a ‘break in’ period

The fire is releasing too much smoke

Burning damp wood which contains too much moisture

Burning polluted wood

The fire isn’t hot enough

Blocked chimney or flue

Insufficient chimney size which cannot easily remove waste smoke and gases

Wet weather

If the weather is much lower than usual and smoke and gases cannot leave the home properly

Reduced airflow

 

Why is my wood burner not getting hot?

If your wood burner is not getting hot, this could be due to a variety of reasons:

• The draft on the stove is poor – draft on the stove is needed to suck air from the stove out of your home. If the waste gas is unable to escape, fresh air won’t be getting to the fire and this will prevent the stove from heating. Test the draft by lighting a piece of paper on one end and placing it under the flue outlet inside your stove. If the smoke disappears, the draft should work effectively when the fire starts.

• The air vents need opening – if the air vents aren’t open enough, it will prevent oxygen getting to the fire. Open up the air vents and create a larger supply of oxygen to enable to the fire to burn through the wood more quickly.

• The air vents are open too much – if the air vents are opened too much, the stove may not get hot. While the air vents should be opened fully when the fire is being lit to maximise oxygen levels, these can be gradually closed down as the fire gets hotter to ensure too much air isn’t getting to the fire.

• Lack of secondary combustion – this process involves maximising heat from burning wood by burning off waste gases from the fire. Secondary combustion will only occur when a higher temperature is reached.

• Fire incorrectly lit/built – if a fire is built and lit incorrectly, it will prevent the stove from getting hot. Lay crumpled pieces of paper on the bed of the stove to help encourage the fire to spread to the wood. Softwood kindling can then be placed on top of the newspaper, followed by smaller logs once the fire has caught.

• Wet wood – if your wood is too wet, the excess moisture will prevent your wood burner from getting hot. We recommend a 20 per cent or lower moisture content threshold for firewood. If your wood contains more moisture than this, it will need to be dried out for a further season before if can be used.

Find out more in our blog: How to use a wood burning stove.

How often should I sweep my wood burner chimney?

We recommend that wood burner chimneys are cleaned at least once a year. This should take place when the temperature drops in the cooler months before the wood burner is used more regularly.

Contact Charnwood today

To find out more about keeping your wood burner well maintained, contact Charnwood today. Our friendly, expert team are on hand and more than happy to answer any queries you may have.

charnwoodstoves

If you are already the proud owner of a wood burner, or are considering making a purchase, you will not be disappointed. A wood burner is a superb addition to the home and an impressive focal point.

As winter approaches and the nights begin to draw in, what better way to spend chilly evenings than being nestled up next to your wood burning stove?

Before you fire up your wood burner and use it more regularly though, the Charnwood experts have compiled their tips on how to light a wood burner alongside other top tips, so you can get the absolute most out of your wood burner.

How to use a wood burner

If you are considering a wood burner purchase, it is crucial to ensure your desired stove is suitable for your home. We strongly recommend that a site survey is carried out by an experienced stove installer in the first instance before you make a purchase. Use our stove calculator to find out if your room is suitable.

How to make a fire in a wood burner

There are several stages to making a successful fire in a wood burner. If a fire is built and lit incorrectly, it can prevent the stove from getting hot. Follow these steps to make a successful wood burner fire:

Firstly you will need to ensure your wood is well seasoned and dry with a moisture content of less than 20% – if buying wood in smaller volumes look out for the Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn label’ which guarantees this.

When lighting your stove we recommend the top down method.

1) Leave some ash – the most efficient way to light a wood burning stove is to leave a little bit of ash from previous fires. However, you should still ensure the majority of the ash is cleaned out to avoid blocking air circulation.
2) Place 2-3 smaller logs on the stove bed
3) On top of this build a stack of 6-8 softwood kindling sticks
4) Then place a natural fire lighter inside
5) Fully open the air control as this will maximise the supply of oxygen in the wood burner needed to get the fire going.
6) Light the fire lighter and close the door but leave it slightly a jar
7) This helps to heat the chimney flue and burn hot and clean
8) Once the fire is burning well close the door and reduce the air intake
9) Re-fuel little and often
10) Every time a log is added open the air control again until the fire is burning well and then return the control to normal

By running your stove in this way you will achieve maximum efficiency with minimum emissions

How hot does a wood burner get?

Most wood burners range in temperature and can reach 190 – 343 degrees Celsius (375 – 650 degrees Fahrenheit). However, how hot a wood burner gets can depend on several factors including poor draft on the stove, air vents left closed or not open enough, incorrectly built/lit fire and use of wet wood.

How many logs do I need to put in a wood burner?

It is important not to overload your wood burner with logs, as this will mean the fire does not have enough oxygen to burn effectively. For a constant heat, have one or two logs in your wood burner at once.

How to get maximum heat from wood burner

There are several factors that could prevent your wood burner from achieving maximum heat, including:
The type of wood that is being burnt.
The moisture content of the wood.
How effectively the air supply to the fire is controlled.
How well the fire is maintained.

Achieve the maximum heat from your wood burner by:

Using softwoods to quickly get the fire started.
Using harder woods once the fire has started to produce more heat for longer periods.
Ensuring all wood burned is dry and doesn’t contain large amounts of moisture (as mentioned earlier we recommend a 20 per cent or lower moisture content threshold for firewood).
Periodically adding a few pieces of wood, rather than waiting for the flame to die down or adding large amounts of wood in one go.
Using air vents correctly to control airflow to the fire.
Having your flue cleaned and maintained regularly.
Cleaning and maintaining your wood burner stove regularly.
Ensuring your room has adequate ventilation to give the fire an oxygen supply.

How to keep a wood burner going

The below tips will help make a wood stove burn for longer:
Avoid using wet wood in your wood burning stove.
Reduce the air coming through the air vents to make the fire last longer.
A stove that contains cast iron elements are better for heat efficiency and will keep a fire going.
If you would like to find out more about wood burning stove cleaning tips and tricks in our blog, read: How to clean your wood burning stove.

What trees are the best to burn on a wood burner?

The best wood for burning on a wood burner are:
• Ash
• Oak
• Birch
• Beech
• Cherry
• Sycamore

How to put out a wood burner

Safely put out your wood burner by following these steps:
Starve the flames of oxygen by ensuring the stove door is completely closed.
Close all air vents and wait until the flames have died down to embers.
Wearing heat-resistant gloves, open the door and spread the remaining embers/pieces of wood using a fire poker.
Once the stove is cooled, sweep away any remaining ashes. An ash carrier can be a useful piece of equipment to assist in this.

Discover further cleaning and maintenance tips in our blog: How to clean wood burner glass.

Contact Charnwood today

To find out more about how to light your wood burner and keeping it well maintained, contact Charnwood today. Our friendly, expert team are on hand and more than happy to answer any queries you may have.