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How to Start a Fire

How to Start a Fire

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Here are some tips to help you start a fire like a pro.

If you intend on purchasing a new and fashionable wood burning stove, you will have a lot of things to consider such as the size of your room and home as well as which type of stove is right for your space. Homeowners now have a good understanding of this, but one surprising element that does frequently come up is what most of us take for granted. Nowadays most homes are equipped with the latest technology and appliances which take away so many day to day tasks for us, so many that perhaps we have forgotten to learn the basics which results in us failing at what should be a simple easy task like how to start a fire in a wood burning stove. It is a very easy thing to learn and once you master the skill, it will ensure you get the most from your stove. Here are some tips to help you start a fire like a pro:

The Right Tinder

Building a fire is about finding the right spark to burn well. Some people have used old newspapers and such to start a fire, but this should only be reserved for outside fires. Wood burning stoves require a little more care with the tinder used. It is best to use natural materials when finding the right tinder for the stove. Cedar shavings provide an excellent resource for starting a fire as the wood is naturally fibrous and burns quickly. Other options include moss, dry grass, or twigs, but keep in mind that these materials should only be used in tree species that are ideal for indoor fires to prevent any creosote buildup in the stoves windows and interior.

Next, take strips of wood kindling material making sure that they are very dry and thin to spark the fire quickly. The addition of exposed surfaces on the kindling will serve best as an adequate surface for the fire to penetrate.

Stacking Wood Properly

The key ingredient in any fire is proper air movement. Where that might sound counterproductive to those new to fire building, fire needs to breathe in order to stay lit. A fire starved of oxygen will simply smolder and burn out. Stack split logs in a manner that is opposite of your kindling wood and create plenty of space between individual logs. Do not overfill the unit and start out with just a few logs - two or three at the most. Once you light the fire and these logs ignite, it will be easy to add in more for a roaring long-lasting fire.

Control Air Flow

Today’s wood burning stoves are not merely boxes to hold heat with no way to control variable temperature. They are sophisticated pieces of equipment with valve controls that keep air regulated into the unit. The more air put into the firebox, the higher the flame will climb. When using a wood burning stove, once it is lit, keep an eye on the size of the flame in relation to heat output. For the first bit, until the flame reaches its full potential, it is best to open the valve completely for maximum oxygen saturation and to fuel a full flame. Once a regulated temperature is decided upon, merely add additional logs on the fire to maintain adequate heat and a consistent temperature for your room.

Always Start Fresh

A little-known tip for new wood stove owners is to start with a fresh fire each time. Where it is tempting to attempt to ignite a smoldering fire to warm the home, this should be avoided. Most homeowners think it is a good idea to crank up the heat in the morning, but it can do more harm than good. Creosote buildup should be avoided at all costs and restarting a smoldering fire will result in a lot of smoke and therefore, increased creosote.

The ideal solution is to simply start afresh each day. Allow the fire to completely burn out through the night. It will be a bit more work and may require you getting up earlier than everyone else, but this tactic will increase the life of your stove and provide you with easy maintenance throughout its life.

Starting a fire in a wood burning stove is easy once you get the hang of it. It will take practice to see which wood combination works best for your needs and which tinder option is available to you. Keep at it and before too long, you will be able to build a fire quickly without hesitation. Wood stoves are the best and most economical way to heat any home and those that have tried this form of heating, love it far more than standard electricity-based options. Enjoy your new unit and keep the family warm all season long.

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