12th Aug 2020

​How to light a wood burner?

How to light a wood burner

You have your new wood burner installed or maybe you've just bought a house that already has one - now you just need to light it.

It might be worth reading our blog post on things you should know about firewood for your wood burner before you go and purchase any.

A common misconception is that you just throw in some old paper and a few logs and strike a match. You might get a flame going for a short period of time but there is a certain art to lighting a wood burner correctly. Luckily for you, we have a handy guide that will tell you exactly how you light up a wood burner so you get a warm and lasting fire.

First things first, what do you actually need?

How to light a woodburner

What you need to light a wood burner


It kinds of goes without saying that you need something to get the fire started! We recommend matches over a lighter because you'll want to light the firelighters/kindling evenly and it's easier to reach the firelighters underneath the kindling with matches. 


You can use old newspapers but firelighters are just of course easier. You can even buy odourless environmentally friendly firelighters these days and they'll burn longer than paper, so your fire has a better chance of catching and burning evenly. If you do have lots of old newspapers lying around then you can put this in with the firelighters at the start.


Before you even think of putting logs onto a fire you need kindling first. These are small pieces of wood that catch fire quickly and they help to get your wood burner started before you add in larger pieces of wood on top. Give these time to light properly before adding your logs on top.


The finishing touch to your fire - logs. These keep your fire going for hours and ensure a steady and consistent heat. We always recommend kiln dried logs because they have low moisture content which means they burn better and you'll have less mess to clear up in your wood burner afterwards.

How to light a wood burner in 5 easy steps

How to light a wood burner

#1 Open up your air vents

Your wood burner should have adjustable air vents that you can open and close. When starting the fire make sure they are open because air will help everything burn a bit quicker at the start which means your firewood will catch easier.

#2 Add in kindling, newspapers (if you want) and firelighters

Now you need to start the base of your fire. Add in the kindling, paper if you want and your firelighters. You should make a kind of pyramid shape and make sure it isn't packed too tightly or it won't burn as well.

#3 Light your fire

Take a match and light the firelighters. You should close the door but keep the air vents open and you can start to adjust the vents by closing them slightly as the fire starts to take hold.

#4 Add your logs

Once your kindling is burning away, add two or three logs depending on how big your wood burner is. Make sure you don't add to many or smother the fire otherwise it'll go out quickly. If you haven't slightly closed the air vents yet you can do so when you add the logs so that your fire doesn't burn as quickly.

#5 Sit back and enjoy

And that's it! You can add more logs when your fire starts to die down or open the air vents if you need a bigger flame and some parts of your fire haven't caught properly.

Lighting a wood burner is a skill but it is a fairly easy one to learn once you know how. After a few goes you'll be lighting perfect fires in your wood burner and enjoying the warmth and cosiness that it brings.