Posted on Leave a comment

Problems with starting a fire in a woodburning stove

Suddenly my wood is harder to light and I can’t get the fire going

Another common problem is that you have been lighting your stove easily and quickly and then suddenly it seems harder.  This often happens just after you have cleaned out your woodturning stove.

Check whether you have a small ash bed. If you have been able to light a fire easily and then cleaned out your stove it can be hard for wood to ignite. Wood loves an ash bed and will light easier. This is often a problem more with multi-fuel stoves where you have been switching between fuels. Coal and anthracite burn better on a grate with little ash where as wood burns better with ash. Hence most woodburning only stoves do not have an extra grate installed.

If it is happening where there is no ash you will need to use a couple of extra waxlings/firestarters and a bit of extra kindling until there is a new ash bed.

Do contact us if you have any other troubleshooting questions.  Send us your question 

Posted on Leave a comment

Woodburning stove feels too hot

Help:  My Stove is too hot

It’s week six of our troubleshooting guide and today we are answering the question of why a Woodburning stove can burn too hot.

Hopefully you have had great advice and chosen a stove that has the correct heat output for your room. It can be unbearable to sit in front of a stove that is too hot.  It can also damage your stove if it is overheating. If you know your stove is the right size but it still burning too hot for you check out the following tips:

  1. a)  Your airflow is too strong- once your stove is hot and has heated the chimney up turn the airflow down.
  2. b)  Don’t over fuel your stove. Modern stoves are designed to burn efficiently and don’t need to be fully loaded to give off heat. Once you have a fire going one or two thin to medium logs will be efficient to keep your stove burning within the optimum burn range. Try to keep your stove burning at the lower end of the optimum range
  3. c)  Check the rope seal around your stove. If you have had your stove for a while and this problem is new then it could be time to replace your stove rope seal. The rope seal around the door does not last forever and will eventually need replacing. Your manual will tell you the size of rope for your stove or call the manufacturer. Rope seal is quite easy to replace yourself but if you are unsure most Chimney sweeps will carry out this simple procedure when combining it with a service and sweep.

A really useful tool  to have is a woodburning stove thermometer.  These are a great way to show what temperature your woodburning stove is at.  We really love the Valiant stove thermometer which also adds a splash of colour to your Logburner flue pipe.

Posted on Leave a comment

Help my brand new Woodburning stove smells of paint.

My Brand new Woodburning stove smells of paint

Week 5 of our troubleshooting guide answers the all important moment when you have lit your brand new wood burning stove and you smell a strong smell of paint.

You will be please to know that with a brand new stove installation this is completely normal. This is the paint of the stove being ‘baked in’. The smell will occur for the first 1-3 times you use the stove and should then not be occur anymore.

It is advisable to light your first fires during the day with open windows so that the smell is gone by the time you go to bed. This is not hugely important but probably just a bit more pleasant.

If the smell continues beyond the first few fires contact your HETAS installer or the manufacturer of your stove as it shouldn’t be happening.


Posted on Leave a comment

Week 4 Troubleshooting guide: Stove no heating the room as expected.

Help my room is not as hot as I hoped

It’s week 4 of our troubleshooting guide to common problems with a Woodburning stove and today we are answering the question of what happens if you had Logburner installed but it seems your room is not getting quite as hot as you had anticipated.

You used a HETAS installer who helped you pick the right size stove yet the room is not getting as hot as you thought it would get or you were told. If you know the stove is big enough for your room there can be a couple of reasons for this to happen:

a) You are burning your stove too hot for too long- we know that may sound crazy especially as you were told to ensure to burn your stove hot at the beginning. However if you let your stove burn for more than 20-30 minutes with the airflow fully open you are simply heating your chimney and not the room. And just burning your fuel at high speed.


Solution a):Turn the airflow to almost off- but not completely off once the stove has reached optimum burn temperatures and has burnt at this range for around 10 minutes when first lighting the stove. That way you are heating the stove body and the heat will start radiating into your room rather than heating your chimney and all your heat escaping into the air outside.

Solution b) If you have followed solution a) you should see a huge improvement if it is still not quite as hot as expected or you often have a the room door open, or were hoping to also heat a staircase or open plan space consider investing into a stove fan. These will help radiate the heat in a larger room or open plan space.

Solution c) It can also happen if you close the airflow down too low and the fuel doesn’t burn effectively. Remember fire needs oxygen so your airflow should never be shut off completely. Again a stove thermometer is a really useful tool to help you burn your stove in the right temperature range.

Remember we are posting a weekly advice post but you can have the full troubleshooting guide as a free pdf if you subscribe to our mailing list- just click here for the sign up page and as a thank you you will be sent the free pdf.

Posted on Leave a comment

Help- Smoke is coming into my room from Woodburning stove

What do to when smoke comes out of the stove when you open the door.

It’s week 3  in our series on common troubleshooting solutions.  And this week we are answering the common problem of when smoke is coming from your woodburning stove when you open the door.

This is slightly less dramatic than problem no.2 of last week where smoke is coming through the gaps in the Logburner when the door is closed,  but you were most likely told that a new modern stove wouldn’t let any smoke into the room and now suddenly it’s happening.  Yet something to bear in mind is that you are  dealing with a natural fire and sometimes a bit of smoke is unavoidable. Yet many woodburning stove brands do work very hard to design log burners that reduce the risk of smoke escaping dramatically, and there are steps you can take to reduce it even further. There are also some brands of woodburning stoves on the market with quite specifically designed baffle systems that eliminate smoke such as the Charlton and Jenrick Purevision range. As said some smoke is normal but the incidence of it coming into your room can still be avoided and reduced. Here are some steps to take:

Action steps to eliminate woodburning smoke in a Logburner

a) Only re-load your fire when there are no flames anymore. It is the flames that emit the smoke so if you wait until the current logs are just glowing you will not have smoke coming out

b) Only burn dry and hardwood. Any wood that has a moisture content above 20% will create more smoke.  And if you are using softwood this also creates a smokier fire inside your woodburning stove.

c) Don’t use newspaper or cardboardas a firestarter- We mentioned this when looking at problem no 2 last week but it really is worth repeating as it does make such a big difference in the quality of the fire you are making.

d) Build your fire towards the back oft he firebox

e) Open the Woodburning stove door slowly and wait 10-20 seconds before fully opening when restocking your fire. This helps new air circulate in the firebox first, helping adjust temperature and air pressure reducing the risk of smoke escaping.

If you would like a the full 10 week troubleshooting guide- why not click here and sign up to your mailing list and as a thank you we will send you the guide as a pdf for you to keep.


Posted on Leave a comment

Smoke escaping from your woodburning stove

Week 2 of our troubleshooting guide:

This week we are tackling the problem of when smoke is escaping from your Woodburning stove into the room whilst the door of the log burner is closed.

The main reason for this to happen is often the weather outside. Mostly this occurs when the air outside is colder than the air inside. The cold air from outside is heavier than the smoke rising and can in cases push the smoke back down. It will then try to escape through any gaps-All woodburners do have small gaps as fire needs oxygen to ignite and keep burning, so these gaps can’t be avoided.

If it is a one off occurrence and happening especially when the weather changes in Spring or Autumn this pressure difference will be the most likely cause and not much can be done apart from using a lot of kindling and getting the stove as hot as possible to burn the smoke off.

If you have a stove in a room that you know is typically cold using some extra waxlings/firestarters and kindling is advisable to ensure the fire burns really hot right at the beginning.

Other reasons:

a) Your Chimney is blocked. It is really important to have your chimney swept at least once a year and if you are using your stove quite frequently even consider cleaning it twice a year. A chimney sweep will also check things like the chimney cowl to ensure that this is sufficiently drawing up smoke.

b) You don’t have enough updraft through your chimney. In some cases your chimney is not long enough, this can especially be the case if you have a twin wall installation or the chimney has a lot of bends inside. If this is a problem it will usually show very early on in the installation.  There are devices such as the exodraft chimney fan which helps draw up the smoke.  This is a great device to have especially with twin wall installations as a way of making your stove more efficient over all. Your installer should be able to advise right at the beginning about your chimney.

c) Not enough air in the room- This can happen especially if you have had a large stove installed and there was n oextra ventilation added. Any stove over 8kW needs an airvent to draw enough oxygen into the room, without starving your room of it. This is can be tested by a chimney sweep or a HETAS installer who also carries out maintenance services. We highly recommend using a HETAS installer for the initial installation as they will always ensure adequate ventilation is installed.

Most importantly though if smoke gathers in your stove don’t panic it will eventually burn off- You can add a couple of lit waxlings to get the fire going but have a window or door open so any smoke that does escape can escape too.

Avoid using Newspaper to light your stove as newspaper can aggravate smoke.

If you would like a free copy of our guide to 10 most common questions and problems for log burner owners please do click here to sign up to our mailing list and receive the guide as full PDF file for you to keep.

Posted on Leave a comment

Help my woodburning stoves’ glass has gone black

Fire behind glass

This is definitely the most common question we get asked about and part of our 10 week series on this blog answering the most common solid fuel stove problems.  We will be writing one per week- if you would like the full guide in one handy PDF do sign up to our mailing list and you will receive the file automatically. Click here for the sign up.

But first if your glass goes black check out some of the reasons why and what you can do about it.

There can be several reasons why your woodburning stove glass is going black when using it.

The first thing to determine is how old your stove is and whether it has an air wash system. If your
stove is older than 10-15 years it can be possible that your stove does not have a modern air wash
system which means that it is prone to glass going black. Unfortunately in this scenario there isn’t
much to stop the glass going black and you may want to consider an upgrade to a more modern
stove. However if an upgrade is not possible if you follow the step for younger stoves you will still see
some improvement.

More modern stoves do have an air wash system and therefore glass should not be going black as

Here are some of the steps you can take when it does occur and to prevent it from happening:

1. Build your fire towards the back of the firebox.
2. Use high quality dry wood. Green wood or wet wood can create more smoke and blacken the
3. Make sure you get the stove up to temperature and hot right at the beginning. Let it burn hot for at
least 10 minutes- Bear in mind that stoves do vary and some may need less time and some might
need a little longer, your HETAS installer should be able to advise you when considering different
stoves. We highly recommend putting a stove thermometer on your flue pipe to help determine
that your stove has reached optimum temperature. This will also help heat your chimney which
makes for a better burn and ensure your stove is at its most efficient.
4. Before you go to bed or stop using your stove ensure that you put a couple of pieces of kindling on
any embers and let it burn hot i/e do not shut the airflow off completely. This ensures that any
fuel le burns away completely ensuring the stove doesn’t burn low too long.
5. Don’t let the stove burn below optimum temperature as when it burns low it can cause blackness
on the glass.
6. Don’t build your wood stack too high this ensures that no wood logs fall forward whilst your fire is

If you find a log does fall forward or your glass has gone black you can remove this by making a really
hot fire and letting your fire burn for a while towards the end of the optimum burn range.
If the spots are very stubborn you can use a Stove cleaning sponge, stove glass cleaner paste or a
glass cleaner spray to get rid of them.

Please ensure you only use these products on a cold stove. It is
a good idea to clean the glass on a regular basis anyway. Smoke will also at times leave some marks
on the glass therefore it is always important to burn at optimum temperature and use high quality,
dry and hard wood.

Check back on the blog next Tuesday when we will be answering: ‘Why does smoke come out of my stove?’

Posted on Leave a comment

Moving into a house with a woodburning stove

Wood burning Stove Tiger Cleanburn


The adventure of a new house with a woodburning stove

Woodburning stoves are now a highlighted feature of many properties and mentioned in many description as the special feature that they are. Just a quick check on Rightmove shows that Woodburning stoves attract buyers and are a highlight of many homes. It isn’t really surprising that buyers are attracted to a house with a Woodburning stove already installed as it saves you as the buyer the time and effort to install one yourself. Yet you may have never used a woodburning stove before and are new to the maintenance and upkeep of a woodburning stove and therefore have many questions.  It certainly is a bit of an adventure having your first woodburning stove and if you find yourself having seen the perfect new home but are unsure of the woodburning stove that it contains we have compiled some tips on what questions to ask to ensure that the woodburning stove you are buying is safe to use.


1. Certificate of Compliance- does the stove have one

All woodburning stove installations should be registered with the governing body HETAS and issued with what is known as a certificate of compliance.  This is a certificate that shows that the Woodburning stove has been installed by a competent installer and has been found to meet building regulations.  It also shows that if you live in a smoke controlled area the woodburning stove that has been installed is one that meets DEFRA regulations and is permitted to be used in a smoke controlled area.  The certificate of compliance should be included in your house pack when you purchase the property so it is worth checking that it is there or even asking directly for it. The certificate of compliance mentions the name of the installer and usually the brand of stove that has been installed- this is very important information as the installation is therefore traceable. If there is no certificate of compliance from HETAS it is worth checking with your local building control office to find out whether the installation was registered or not. Unfortunately there are still a lot of builders and even individuals who install woodburning stoves themselves and are therefore not registered.  In this case it is definitely worth getting a chimney sweep or HETAS installer to come and carry out a service on the woodburning stove before you use it.  These professionals can make sure that the woodburning stove is safe to use.  It’s even worth asking to see the certificate of compliance when you are viewing the property, as you will want to know whether it is safe to use and whether it meets all current regulations.

2. Chimney sweep certificate

All woodburning stoves should have at least one sweep and service every year.  This means a chimney sweep has attended to the woodburning stove and the chimney and given everything a good clean and check.   This is important as there can be soot build up in the chimney from incorrect use of the woodburning stove or even just over time,  which can erode the chimney liner and cause chimney fires.  Regular sweeping and servicing of the chimney reduces this risk dramatically. Again if a registered Chimney Sweep was used there should be a sweep’s certificate available to you from the most recent sweep. Ensure that it has a date that is within the last 12 months on it.  And don’t forget to have this arranged on an annual basis from that point onwards.

3.  Ask for the manual

Every woodburning stove will come with a manual that contains useful information such as the warranty period, what is covered within the warranty period, size of glass, size of the rope seal and many tips on the best way to actually light your particular stove.  Every woodburning stove  varies slightly on the controls and best way of lighting so it is useful to familiarise yourself with the particular brand of woodburning stove installed in your new property.  Knowing the heat output is also useful as it will tell you how hot the woodburning stove might get and whether it is even appropriate for the size of the room which it is situated in. Also knowing the brand and make is useful when looking for spare parts.  Not all parts on a stove last for ever and these parts are often not covered in lifelong warranties.  The main examples of this are the glass rope, fire bricks and glass.  These can all wear out over time and will need replacing at some point.  Parts such as the sealant glass rope are easily replaced others a chimney sweep is often your first point of contact to help replace parts.

Each woodburning stove also has a data plate somewhere attached to the actual stove.  These are often on the back of a woodburning stove on a metal plate.  They are usually accessed by being able to slide the plate out from the back or on a short metal chain hooked on the back.  Some woodburning stoves have the data plate on the side of the stove. The manual of a stove often tells you where the data plate is located. The data plate has important information on such as the brand, heatoutput and date of manufacturing, which in turn tells you how old the stove is.

4. Carbon monoxide monitor

This is an essential part of every installation.  Many people still think that a woodburning stove is not in danger of giving off carbon monoxide but they can do if installed incorrectly, or if soot builds up in the chimney liner and is not cleaned away or if the chimney liner has eroded.  It is important for you to check that there is a carbon monoxide alarm installed in the same room as the woodburning stove.  And give it a quick test too to ensure that it has a battery in it.  Carbon monoxide alarms can safe your life and should be checked weekly alongside your smoke alarm.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram where we send out a weekly reminder  to test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm.

Most importantly enjoy your new woodburning stove and the new home you have bought.  A woodburning stove is not only a great heat source in your home but a wonderful cozy way to relax on a cold, rainy day.


Posted on Leave a comment

Firewood poem

Stack of wood

The Firewood Poem

A fun poem written many years ago but still holds the truth of what type of wood you should burn on your Woodburning stove.

Lady Celia Congreve Published in the Times: March 2 nd 1930

These hardwoods burn well and slowly, Ash, beech, hawthorn oak and holly. Softwoods flare up quick and fine, Birch, fir, hazel, larch and pine. Elm and willow you’ll regret, Chestnut green and sycamore wet. Beechwood fires are bright and clear, If the logs are kept a year. Chestnut’s only good, they say, If for long ’tis laid away.

But Ash new or Ash old, Is fit for a queen with crown of gold. Birch and fir logs bum too fast, Blaze up bright and do not last. It is by the Irish said, Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread. Elm wood bums like churchyard mould, E’en the very flames are cold. But Ash green or Ash brown, Is fit for a queen with golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke, Fills your eyes and makes you choke. Apple wood will scent your room, With an incense like perfume. Oaken logs if dry and old, Keep away the winter’s cold. But Ash wet or Ash dry, A king shall warm his slippers by. Oak logs will warm you well, That are old and dry.

Logs of pine will sweetly smell, But the sparks will fly. Birch logs will burn too fast, Chestnut scarce at all sir. Hawthorn logs are good to last, That are cut well in the fall sir. Holly logs will burn like wax, You could burn them green. Elm logs burn like smouldering flax, With no flame to be seen.

Beech logs for winter time, Yew logs as well sir. Green elder logs it is a crime, For any man to sell sir. Pear logs and apple logs, They will scent your room.

And cherry logs across the dogs, They smell like flowers of broom. But Ash logs smooth and grey, Buy them green or old, sir. And buy up all that come your way, They’re worth their weight in gold sir. Logs to Burn, Logs to burn, Logs to burn, Logs to save the coal a turn.

Here’s a word to make you wise, When you hear the woodman’s cries. Never heed his usual tale, That he has good logs for sale. But read these lines and really learn, The proper kind of logs to burn

Posted on Leave a comment

Eco Design Woodburning stoves and why it matters

What is Eco Design?

SIA eco design ready logo


If you have been searching and researching Woodburning, multi-fuel stoves and log burners within the last 12 months you will hopefully have come across the Eco Design or SIA approved symbol. But you may have wondered what the Eco design ready symbol actually means. In 2022 new EU wide regulation on particle emissions are coming out which are much tougher than current laws and the woodburning stove industry has responded and most brands have put their stoves under a re-design process to meet these regulations.  Each stove that now has the eco design badge will meet these 2022 changes in regulation.  This means that you not only will be able to burn your woodburning stove in a smoke controlled area but also know that the particles you are releasing are very low.

Why does it matter?

Air pollution is a big concern especially in built up areas from small towns to large cities. And a concern not to be ignored. The air we breathe is vital to our well being and that of our families. And one that the Woodburning stove industry is also concerned about and are taking many steps to combat and address.

So what to look out for?

You are still wanting a woodburning stove but are concerned the advice is to look out for the SIA and Eco design ready symbol as shown above and below. ( We thought we would put it into our blog a couple of times for reference)

SIA eco design ready logo
Logo for SIA eco design ready stove

Under current EU regulations all stoves also require to have an energy certificate and should be made readily available to any potential buyer. This will give you a guide on the efficiency of the stove and how well it will burn wood and how well it will burn the smoke off again lowering the particle emissions.

The Eco design ready symbol and stamp of approval ensure that your stove is as efficient as possible.  It is important therefore not just to go by name and reputation but actually check out the information.  An example of this is that a brand of stoves called the Clearview Stoves which arguably are one of the best known Woodburning stoves on the market, yet as of January 2019 Clearview Stoves have not been tested and approved under the eco design brand.  And there is no news whether Clearview Stoves will actually be 2022 compliant. Just one example where it is important not just to rely on a brand name.

The industry to date doesn’t know what will happen if you install a stove in 2019 that doesn’t meet the 2022 standards but as there is a big clamp down on environmental impact of appliances we can predict that councils and building regulations will be checking standards more closely in the future.

Every woodburning stove installation is registered with the local building regulation department and the brand is checked therefore we really urge everyone to ensure that the brand you are purchasing is eco design ready. Don’t be caught out by just going for the big brand names.

Important to note is that a DEFRA approved stove, which means a Woodburning stove that can be used in smoke controlled areas, is not automatically Eco design ready.  Again the Clearview Stoves are an example of this, many are DEFRA approved but have not been tested to 2022 regulation standards.  The best choice are woodburning stoves that show both the Eco design ready symbol and the DEFRA symbol.

SIA and DEFRA logo to show compliance
DEFRA and SIA compliant

Enjoy your search and look out for the Eco Design ready symbol on the woodburning stove brands you research. And if you are in a smoke controlled area also the DEFRA sign.  We are always happy to advise so do search us out on our social media channels or why not fill out our contact form with any questions you may have.