How to light a fire

How to light a fire

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Lighting a fire can sometimes be difficult. Those of us who have arrived at a cold cabin in the winter, know that there are many different ways to get the fire going. However, this is a trusted procedure that makes lighting the fire easy. Also, this procedure is better for the environment.

The experts often talk about top down and bottom up lighting. You either start lighting from the top or from the bottom. We prefer top down . This method produces less soot and ashes, ensures better air supply and makes the first wood load last longer.

Anyway, in order to light the fire on the first try, you will need:

  • A couple of larger logs of wood 
  • 8 to 12 smaller splinters as kindling wood
  • A few lighting briquettes
  • Matches

Step 1

Air and logs of wood

Ensure that all air vents in the fireplace are open. Put the logs on the bottom of the fireplace. It is important that the wood is cleft and dry. The logs may be as thick as a fist or thicker.

Step 2

Kindling wood

Then add a layer of kindling wood on top of the logs, preferably two or three layers. Remember that air is important – a distance of approx. 1 cm between each log is the perfect space. The kindling wood must not be too coarse, small logs/chips of two to four centimetres is perfect.

Step 3

Fire briquettes

Put a couple of fire briquettes on top of the layer of kindling wood or use some newspaper. Be aware that newspaper produces unnecessary amounts of ashes and contributes to more soot.

Step 4

Light it!

The last step is easy, just light it and close the door! Some chimneys take more time to create good draught than others. If the draught is insufficient, it might be an idea to open the door to the wood stove slitghtly until the it is properly warm. If the house or cabin is "too" isolated, you might want to open a window. The same applies if the kitchen ventilator is on.

Some closing comments

As the wood gradually catches fire, the amount of smoke gases emitting from the wood, will also increase. Wood stoves from Jøtul are cleanburning wood stoves. This means that the combustion chamber is designed to burn flue gases before they enter the flue pipe and in this way reduce polluting emmissions.

When the chimney heats up, you will discover that the draught increases. That's why it can be a good idea to reduce the air supply when the fire is increasing.

If you follow these instructions and light the fire with a couple of large logs, the first wood load will last for about an hour. When this has turned into charcoal, you can gently open the door and add more wood. A good tip is to keep the door ajar for a few seconds before you open it completely. In this way, the draught in the chimney will ensure that the flue gases are removed from the combustion chamber and you avoid smoke flowing into the room.

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