Lighting a fire in a woodstove is a bit different from a fire outdoors, as it is really important to establish a draught. That means that as the hot air and smoke rises out of the fire and up the chimney, fresh air is sucked in through a hole in the door. If you don't have a draught, the fireplace will just fill with smoke and the fire will suffocate due to lack of oxygen. Before starting the fire, ensure that the baffle that closes off the chimney is open and the vents in the door are fully open as well.
|newspaper and kindling|
This is when you know if you have a draught, when the air starts to suck in through the door and the smoke goes up the chimney, you have a successful draught, the fire should start to "roar". If the firebox fills with smoke, then you don't have a draught yet. The best way I have found to fix this temporarily is to scrunch up another ball of newspaper and put it up as close to the chimney outlet as possible, either let it light off your current fire or light it again yourself and then close the door. Often this is enough to get a draught working, or you may have to repeat it a few times. For more details on permanent fixes, see my earlier post on our chimney extension!
|closing the door and waiting|
|building up to larger pieces|
Any fire-lighting tips? Who taught you to light a fire?
More about our woodstove - cooking in the woodstove and installing a woodstove.