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How do I light my stove?


We often refer customers to Eco Fires excellent videos for a very thorough demonstration on lighting a stove from cold.

Remember these key points:

  • Prepare plenty of suitable kindling and firelighters.


  • Use a moisture metre to check your logs are dry enough. They should be no higher than 20% moisture content.

  • Before lighting the kindling, check if your logs are the right size. If your logs on the large side, consider splitting a few large logs down into smaller pieces to help them catch easier.

  • Once you light the kindling, leave the stove door slightly ajar for at least 10 minutes to warm the flue up as quickly as possible.

  • You must manually control the air intake on the stove. Once the door is closed, adjust the air vent/s on the stove so they are fully open until a suitable fire is formed. Then the air can be redistributed to slow the fire down, by adjusting the vent/s.

  • Don't overfill the stove or you may damage the glass. You should prepare enough logs to allow you to fill the stove when necessary, usually around once per hour depending on the model.


Are wood burning stoves bad for the environment?

  • Using wood burning stoves correctly is an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective form of heating, a typical summary of facts are:​

  • Burning locally seasoned wood is a very carbon lean process, and is sustainable when the wood is properly managed and harvested. Buying locally reduces the carbon footprint of the supplier significantly by minimising the distances travelled and additional packaging requirements.

  • The carbon emitted into the atmosphere from burning wood is equal to the amount of carbon absorbed by the tree during photosynthesis. This means the carbon is “contemporary”, unlike the carbon emitted from using oil/gas/coal which is more damaging in the long run for the environment.

  • Installing and using a modern stove correctly can reduce the strain put on the country’s heating infrastructure, which  can mean people are not as reliant on gas/oil powered boilers during the colder months. For example, there will be times when you don't require the whole house to be heated and perhaps you don't want to run the full central heating system, thereby using a stove will be saving energy.

  • Modern stoves are designed and tested to emit on up to 90% fewer particulate emissions than more traditional open fireplaces.

  • The vast majority of modern stoves are approved for use in smoke free areas, due to their proven low emissions. In these smoke-free areas, the burning of logs in inefficient open fireplaces/bonfires etc is not allowed.

  • The Stove Industry Alliance have explained about many of the misconceptions around pollution caused by stoves here:

  • Modern stoves are easily capable of achieving 80%+ levels of efficiency. You can achieve the maximum efficiency by ensuring:

    • The wood is properly seasoned – invest in a moisture meter.

    • The stove and flue are correctly maintained – sweep the flue at least once per year.

    • The stove is operated properly – try not to regularly run the stove too slowly, if the air settings are closed too much it will not combust efficiently.


Graph Created by Stove Industry Alliance (SIA)

Am I banned from using my new stove?
Defra/Eco2022 explanation:

There is a lot of speculation around whether stoves are banned. While there are certain limitations on how you can buy and use stoves, in general they are not banned and there are no plans to do so.

Smoke control area explanation:

If you live in a smoke-free zone, in order to burn logs you must only use a stove that is Defra-approved for use in a smoke-free zone. This is not difficult, the vast majority of stoves now have this approval. To comply with new regulations set out in 2022, stove manufacturers have now tested and approved their stoves to ensure they comply with the new Eco2022 regulations.

If you're unsure whether you live in a smoke-free zone, you can contact your local council to check. Find your local council by clicking here.

Does the Eco2022 regulation mean I have to replace my old stove?

Currently there is no requirement to replace an old stove but it is encouraged, especially if your stove is an older, less efficient design. Non-Eco/non-Defra stoves are quickly being phased out to make way for cleaner more efficient Eco2022 models

Graphic created by Stove Industry Alliance (SIA)

The SIA have created this graphic to show the facts about wood burning stoves. Including the importance of using Ecodesign stoves in reducing emissions.

Does my new stove have a warranty?

The manufacturer's warranty typically covers the main body of the stove. Many parts inside are classed as consumable and are often not covered, such as the glass, door seals and firebricks. Using high quality fuel correctly can help these parts last as long as possible. The length of the warranty will be determined by the manufacturer of the stove.


I've lit my new stove and it smells, is this normal?

The paint on your new stove paint requires curing, and this is often achieved when you first start to use the stove. Some internal parts may also be oiled which can also create a slight odour, this is also temporary.


Manufacturer's guidelines for correctly curing the stove will be in user instructions.

Can I use my new stove straight away once it is installed?

If your chimney breast has been made good/plastered during the installation of the stove, it is important to wait 3-5 days for the plaster to dry out.


After the plaster is completely dry, in order to cure the stove properly you should start with a small fire and let it cool off. After doing this 2-3 times you can begin increasing the amount of fuel gradually each time.

My wood burner / stove has gone black inside, why is this?

Burning excessively damp/unsuitable wood can stain the inside of the stove and glass black, and will create more deposits inside the chimney/flue. This can be especially noticeable when burning treated wood such as pallet wood or resinous soft wood.


It is important to only use the correct types of wood for the best results, typically this is seasoned hardwood. If the air controls aren't open enough then the stove may not be running hot enough, which means the combustion of the wood will not be as thorough. Burning seasoned hardwood at the optimum temperature using the correct air settings will result in efficient burning and a clean firebox with plenty of heat and minimal cleaning is required. This will come more naturally with practise and experience.

Some smoke spills out when I open my stove door, is this normal?

It is not uncommon, especially if the flue is cold.

You can help reduce the amount of smoke produced by using seasoned non-resinous hardwoods. Smoke spilling out when opening the door is normal due to the small diameter flue required for modern stoves. When you open the door, try to leave it slightly ajar for 10-20 seconds to create a strong draught before slowly opening door further.

Ensure nearby extractor fans in a bathroom/kitchen are not affecting the stove draught. If they affect the draught of the chimney then you must switch them off when the stove is being used.

Arrange for a registered chimney sweep to sweep the chimney at least once a year to ensure the entire flue is free from any deposits or blockages.

I don't like the location/appearance of my carbon monoxide alarm that was fitted with my stove, can I move/remove it?

No. Fitting a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm is legal requirement, and the specific position of installation is dictated in Doc J Building Regulations.

How do I maintain my stainless steel flue?

Under normal use sweeping the flue once a year using a registered chimney sweep with the correct equipment is sufficient, however if you use solid fuel regularly in your stove then it is recommended to sweep twice a year, once after the cold season to ensure any acidic deposits that have built up during use are removed.

Does my stainless steel flue have a warranty?

Flues and flue liners are covered by manufacturer's warranties which cover the supply of any faulty components. It is vital to ensure the flue has been correctly maintained during use, and there must be a record of sweeping the flue at least once per year depending on the frequency of use and the type of fuel used. Ensure the choice of fuel is compliant with the warranty conditions, for example if wood is used it must be correctly seasoned, and if smokeless fuel is used it must be approved by Hetas. It is quite normal for the warranty to not cover the cost of installation; generally it only covers the supply of like-for-like replacement parts.

Fuel for Stoves:

Where can I buy logs from?

Seasoned logs can be purchased from local suppliers or 'kiln-dried' online suppliers. Using local suppliers is often the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to source logs as they are usually seasoned naturally and minimal transport is required to deliver them. Kiln-dried logs will often be considerably more expensive and less environmentally-friendly but the logs are often consistently of excellent quality, and if you become accustomed to a particular species of tree for firewood then you can often select the log of your choice.

What type of wood can I burn in my woodburning stove?

Seasoned hardwood is best from an experienced supplier who knows how to correctly prepare and season different species of trees. For example, Oak and Ash are both very high quality, but Oak will take considerably longer to season.

You must not burn plywood/MDF/painted wood/chemically treated pallets (pallets stamped with MB will contain Methyl Bromide which is toxic) Pallets stamped KD/HT/DB would be mostly suitable for use as kindling.

Can I burn coal in my woodburning stove?

Multi-fuel stoves are designed to be used with approved smokeless fuel/anthracite as well as seasoned wood, but other solid fuels such as house coal/petroleum coke must never be used. Never treat the stove as an incinerator – household rubbish must never be used as a fuel. Doing so is harmful in many ways – it will create harmful emissions, invalidate your warranty for the stove/flue liner, and likely cause damage to internal parts of your stove.


A study was carried out in 2022, of which 65% of the participants admitted to burning materials such as plastic packaging, wrapping paper and dismantled furniture.

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