Ask the experts explains some of the more common reasons why and ways to overcome them………
In the majority of cases problems with lighting a stove can be attributed to poor preparation and the type of fuel being used. Believe it or not lighting a stove can be quite an art form.
Top tip – to light your fire, position two small logs at the base of the firebox and arrange the kindling on top ‘Jenga’ style, upon initial lighting leave the door ajar, once the kindling has caught and is burning nicely gradually add larger logs to establish your fire.
Most importantly make sure that your wood is dry and well seasoned with a moisture content of less than 20% – invest in a moisture meter to test your fuel.
We recommend to use Kiln Dried logs as a low moisture content should be guaranteed. Our supplier is a local, family run business called The Log Store Group who deliver across Dorset and Somerset.
All fire lighting products and accessories are available from our Wimborne showroom.
Newly installed stoves will often emit fumes into the room with a very unpleasant chemical odour. Don’t panic, this is the stove paint curing and will disappear after the first few fires.
Occasional puffing of smoke back into the room usually points towards a downdraught problem. Nearby obstacles such as trees, buildings or adjacent roof lines can affect the airflow around the top of the chimney. Due to their intermittent nature, downdraughts can be hard to diagnose and a stove that complies with all necessary regulations still may have an issue, to overcome this try extending the height of your chimney and / or fit an anti-downdraught cowl.
In cold weather the draw of the flue maybe affected. To overcome this try warming the flue prior to lighting with a blow torch or newspaper in the stove for 30 – 60 seconds. This should improve the draw instantly.
If your stove continuously smokes it is unlikely to be a downdraught issue. There can be a number of possible reasons for this:-
Try opening a window, if this cures the problem we suggest fitting an air vent.
Competition with another chimney or extractor – if you have an extractor fan in a nearby room or another chimney within the same property which has a stronger draw these are both likely factors for smoke being pulled back down the flue into the room. To overcome this cap unused chimneys and try fitting additional ventilation for the extractor.
The baffle plate may not be fitted correctly – check alignment with manufacturers instructions.
The wood is wet, smoking will continue until you use dry/seasoned wood.
Open all windows and doors where possible and evacuate the area. When the alarm stops, seek specialist advice.
If your alarm is intermittently beeping the battery is flat – you will need to replace the alarm. Approved CO Alarms have sealed battery units which cannot be replaced.
Damp wood is the most likely cause for this.
Most modern stoves are fitted with an airwash system which directs pre-heated air over the glass to keep it clean. However, even when using dry wood with the most advanced systems the glass will likely smog up during periods of idle burning.
Top tip – for an unimpaired view of your fire daily cleaning with stove glass spray is essential. For those penny pinchers amongst you try some damp newspaper with a bit of wood ash from the fire.
You can continue to use the stove but be careful not to over fire it and seek replacements. Broken glass will result in the reduced stove efficiency. The stove may also burn wood faster due to increased air flow.
A cracked firebrick can be a result of over firing the stove or a piece of wood being knocked against them when hot, You can still use your stove with a small crack, but if the crack is large enough to push a pound coin between the edges then this will need to be replaced.
Fire By Design can supply a huge range of spare parts and accessories that you may need.
This checklist is by no means exhaustive but should help troubleshoot some of the more common causes of stove problems. In certain cases you may find that it is not just one issue but rather a combination of many different factors.
If your problem persists or perhaps you have an issue with your stove that wasn’t addressed please do not hesitate to contact one of our team of experts at fire BY DESIGN on 01202 888561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.