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Tips For Lighting A Log Burner

Many people choose wood as the main source of heating in their new Bulgarian home,as it is often the most economical.

Quest has put together some useful tips to help those who have recently relocated,and have in the past perhaps only been used to a switch for the gas central heating.

 

Lighting A Log Burner

1. Empty ash from grate,if some embers are still glowing keep them to help the new fire.

2.Open completely the valves for the primary air and flue gases.

3.Crush newspaper and put infront of grate between logs, avoid using glossy paper as it does not burn well.

4. On paper arrange small sticks and twigs known as kindling, soft wood is good to start a fire as it burns easier and quicker.Arrange sticks so air can pass through and that they don't fall down and stifle fire.

5.Light paper and then close door on firebox to give the fire a start to heat up.

6.The aim is to get enough heat to build the fire up and add logs in gradually bigger sizes.e.g twigs and sticks,small softwood logs, then finally when the fire is well underway larger logs.This is when the wood that has burned has turned into embers this is known as a cycle and then you restart with more wood.

7.Leave valve open untill fire well underway, when the heat has built up, then reduce gradually, if you close valve it may cause smoke to come back through the fire and not out of chimney,but this is often down to practice and getting used to your new log burner.

Tips for burning wood

Freshly cut logs retain half of their weight as water,however when left for 1 season to dry the water content is reduced by 20%.When the water is heated in the firebox the water evaporates absorbing a part of the heat energy when released.The wetter the log the more energy is wasted, you will notice damp logs will sizzle and crackle and often do not burn well. Dry logs will burn easily.

Smoke

The smoke from a fire represents a cloud of inflammable gases. When wood is dry the smoke from the fire will be minimal. If wood is damp it will be slower to burn and black smoke will appear from the chimney.

When a fire is well underway, the water and tar evaporate from the logs and the remaining embers contain 100% carbon and will burn with small red flames.The heat energy contained in the logs is from 1/2 released as gases burn and 1/2 when embers burn.

Heat

Fires using wood can be a slow process.Do not expect instant heat and always remember they need constantly refuelling.Logs burn best in a cycle.This can be looked at from the start using the kindling to larger logs that have burnt down to embers, then the process starts again by adding more smaller logs to the embers and building again.
Larger logs arranged close together will burn slower, but can burn uninterupted for some time,maybe if you decide to go out and need a couple of hours.

Smaller chopped logs arranged criss cross, will burn quicker and by allowing air to pass through the logs will give a faster and instant heat.However these will burn much quicker and the time of the cycle will be less and more logs will be needed more frequently.

Altering the chimney will slow the fire, but each log burner and heating system is different. It will take time to adapt to this way of heating,but with a little patientce and practice you will get used to it.