4 Essential Tips to Help You Light a Wood-Burning Stove

Multi Fuel & Wood Burning Stoves


4 Essential Tips to Help You Light a Wood-Burning Stove

Nothing can beat the warmth and comfort of a wood-burning stove for the cold winter months. But if this is the first time you have lit a wood-burning stove, it can be daunting. Learn the best practices when it comes to lighting your wood-burning stove. 

Read on and get ready to be a master at lighting your very own wood-burning stove.

4 Essential Tips to Help You Light a Wood-Burning Stove

1. Choose the Right Wood 

When lighting a wood-burning stove, the type of wood used is essential to ensure that the fire burns properly and efficiently. Different types of wood have different levels of density and energy content. These factors determine how easily and quickly the fire will burn and how much heat it will produce. 

Look for hardwoods such as oak, cherry, hickory, ash, or maple. These woods are denser than softwoods like fir, pine, or spruce and will generate more heat and burn longer. Softwoods can be used as fuel or kindling in small amounts to help start a fire. As a general rule, the darker colour a piece of wood has, the higher its energy content tends to be. 

Finally, make sure to use dry wood or seasoned wood for your fire. Wet or unseasoned wood can cause your fire to smoulder and smoke rather than blaze up quickly.

2. Make a List of Your Supplies

To light a wood-burning stove, you need to gather the necessary materials. At a minimum, you will need some firewood, kindling, and a fire starter such as a newspaper or an eco-friendly firestarter. You may also want matches, a lighter, and a fire poker to help manage the fire once it’s lit.  

Gathering the right supplies before lighting your wood-burning stove will make the process much smoother and more efficient.

3. Don’t Forget to Prepare the Stove for Lighting

You need to make sure that the stove is prepared for lighting. This includes checking for any obstructions in the flue, such as birds’ nests, debris or other blockages. Ensure that the doors are open and the baffles are in place. 

If possible, create a cross-draft to allow air to circulate through the firebox. Ensure that the wood being used is well seasoned and dry, which will help improve combustion efficiency. 

4. Always Maintain the Fire

Your goal is to maintain a steady burn over some time so you’ll need to adjust the dampers accordingly. To increase airflow and keep a steady flow of oxygen to your fire, open the main damper in the stovepipe slightly. The secondary damper should remain closed until the fire is well established and you’re ready to slow down the burn rate. 

Additionally, you can use door dampers which are located on the front of your stove, to control the heat output and save fuel at the same time. 


Lighting a wood-burning stove is a rewarding experience that can provide plenty of ambient heat. It also has benefits, such as adding character and warmth to your home. However, having one in your home also comes with a few challenges. Be sure to practice safety when working with open flames, and always keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any unexpected flare-ups.

Stove Scotland provides safe and efficient wood stove installation in Scotland. Our experienced technicians have the skills and knowledge to provide a quality installation that will help you save money on your energy costs in the long run. So, if you’re interested in installing a wood stove, contact us today to experience our customer-oriented service firsthand!

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