FAQs and Top Tips

Q. My room gets too hot unless I close the air control on my stove. What can I do?

A. It sounds like the stove is too powerful (too big) for your room. You will waste fuel and cause unnecessary pollution if you close the air too much. A stove fan can help mix the warm air and allow more of it to escape through an open door. The best solution is to replace it with a less powerful model.

Q. The glass on my stove goes black, why does this happen and how can I keep it clean?

A. This is usually because you are not burning the wood hot enough. Ask your local professional sweep to show you how to control your stove. However, some stoves are so badly designed that the glass will always go black. In this case, replace the stove.

Q. How do I know if my logs are dry enough?

A. If they feel light and catch fire easily they are probably dry. Buy a moisture meter to be sure or ask your sweep to check them for you.

Top Tips

Top Tip: Don’t allow smoke to come from your chimney except when lighting or refuelling. Smoke during normal operation is a sign you are wasting fuel and causing unnecessary pollution. Remember, we all breathe the same air and smoking chimneys are just for Christmas cards.

Top Tip: Don’t burn smokeless fuel and wood together. You won’t get the best from either fuel and there can be issues with acid damage if the gasses in the chimney are too cool.

Top Tip: Don’t burn rubbish or waste. The fumes given off are highly toxic and damage our environment. Remember, we all breathe the same air.

Top Burning Myths

There are some curious myths surrounding the use of fires and fuels and chimneys. Here are a few common ones.

Overnight slumbering with logs / closing the air down on my stove saves fuel and money – Exactly the opposite is true. Slumbering wastes large amounts of fuel . It also clogs up the chimney and makes a damaging chimney fire more likely. It creates lots of unnecessary air pollution.

I get more heat with the stove door open. If the door is open then the burning temperature actually drops. This means that the combustion is not as efficient and lots of unburned fuel vapours are now lost to the chimney. It is unsafe to run the stove with the door open, you risk letting poisonous gasses into the room as well as increased fire risk.

My chimney doesn’t need sweeping because I’ve had a woodburner with a liner fitted. – It absolutely does need sweeping or you are heading for trouble. Other checks may be made at the same time and a professional sweep can give lots of useful advice.

Storing logs round my fire helps them to dry out. – Please don’t do this, it really is unsafe. We see some unfortunate consequences of this every year.

I’ve had a chimney fire so I don’t need it swept this year. You need to have it professionally inspected before it is used again. If there has been some damage, another chimney fire could cause a disaster.

I know I should not burn pine or softwoods on my fire because it’s bad for the chimney. It’s just not true, all wood is bad for the chimney if wet or if it’s not burned hot enough. Burn it at a reasonable temperature and you won’t have problems. A stove thermometer is cheap and will help you.

Some types of wood give a lot more heat than others. All types of wood give about the same heat energy per kilo. The shape and size of the logs however will make a difference. Logs that are 5-6 inches / 125 – 150mm wide will give the best results.