The Ultimate Wood Burning Stove Guide

The Ultimate Wood Burning Stove Guide

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The perfect guide to help you get the best out of your wood burning stove.

With an abundance of different styles on the market, it is difficult to figure out which wood burning stove is best for your home. After reaching that decision, what can be equalling challenging is the process of taking care of your wood burning stove. To make it easy, we’ve created the perfect guide for your to follow.

This guide will cover:

  • The best wood to burn
  • How to care for your wood
  • How to light the stove
  • How to clean the wood stove

Which wood is best to burn?

While all woods burn better when seasoned, typically, the best woods for burning in your wood stove are the ones you come across frequently.

  • Apple – Burns slowly with a small flame size whilst producing a pleasant scent.
  • Ash – Considered the best wood for burning; it produces a steady flame and strong heat output.
  • Beech – Burns similar to Ash.
  • Birch – Produces a strong heat output but can burn quite quickly.
  • Hawthorn – A traditional firewood with a slow burn and strong heat output.
  • Horse chestnut – This wood burns well in wood stoves. It produces a good flame and strong heat output.
  • Oak – The density of the wood produces a small flame and very slow burn.
  • Robinia – A good burning wood with a slow burn and strong heat output. Can produce an acrid smoke but if using a stove this is not a problem.
  • Thorn – A steady flame and very strong heat output without producing excess smoke.

Where do I dry my wood?

Drying your own logs will save you money but you need to ensure you have suitable space and time. Logs can take between 12 and 18 months to dry sufficiently for burning, so having patience and planning is vital.

Your wood will need to dry for a minimum of 12 months until it has a moisture content of 20% or less, use a moisture meter, which inserts steel pins into the wood to obtain a reading of the moisture content.

How do I dry my wood?

Another method to check if your wood is ready to burn is to check the colour, as any green colour underneath the bark signifies the logs are not dry enough yet. Check the weight and density by beating 2 logs together, and if they make a hollow sound it is ready. Remember, to leave spaces of air between your logs as this will aid the drying process.

How to light the wood stove

Air the wood

Ensure that all air vents in the stove are open. Put the logs on the bottom of the fireplace. It is important that the wood is cleft and dry.

Kindling wood

Add a layer of small logs of about 4 cm, and then one or two layers of kindling. Remember that air is important – approx. 1 cm between the pieces of wood is the perfect spacing.

Fire briquettes

Put a couple of firelighters 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.

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 slightly until it is properly burning.

How to clean the wood stove

How do I remove soot?

All of Jøtul's products are made with an air-wash system which helps you keep the glass front and or side windows clean during burning. If soot covers the glass, it is normally enough to burn intensely for a short period of time and the heat and the air-wash system will make sure that soot particles attached to the glass are burnt off.

If the glass is still covered with soot, we recommend you moisten a wrinkled piece of newspaper and dip it carefully in the ashes on the bottom of the wood stove. Rub the paper against the glass with the ashes turned towards the glass. Repeat more times if necessary.

How do I empty the ashes?

A lot of people clean out the ashes too frequently. In fact, it is beneficial to leave a layer of ashes on the bottom of the fireplace. This layer insulates and protects the bottom and the floor underneath from the burning heat of the fire.

How often should I completely clean the stove?

At least once a year, Jøtul recommends that you remove the baffle plate and burn plates to make sure that they are in good shape. Also, check the riddling grate and bottom burn plate for damage. Brush off soot particles from these and the rest of the burn chamber.

How often should I sweep the chimney?

Sweep your chimney at least once every year and preferably at the start and the end of the heating season. A clean fireplace and a clean chimney is important to achieve an environmental combustion and avoid a soot fire that can damage the chimney and helps prevent wide-spread fire. 

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