How To Light A Wood-Burning Stove

How To Light A Wood-Burning Stove

Woodburning Stove in home

There’s a certain charm in the crackling sound of wood as it burns, releasing a gentle warmth that cosies up your living space. Wood-burning stoves not only offer an efficient heating solution but also add a timeless charm to your home.

At Stove Industry Supplies, we specialise in providing high-quality wood-burning stoves and parts, ensuring you enjoy every bit of the wood-burning experience. 

In this guide, we’ll delve into the simple yet essential process of lighting a wood-burning stove, setting you on a path to many cosy evenings, regardless of the chill outside.

Preparing Your Wood-burning Stove

Before you strike a match, ensuring your wood-burning stove is ready to operate safely is paramount. Here are a few preparatory steps:

Inspection and Cleaning

Check your stove for any residues from previous fires. A clean stove will operate more efficiently. Make sure the air inlets and chimney flue are free from obstructions.

Choosing the Right Wood

Your choice of wood significantly affects your burning experience. Hardwoods like oak, ash, or maple are preferred as they burn hotter and longer. Ensure the wood is well-seasoned and dry; a moisture content below 20% is ideal. 

Step-by-step Guide to Lighting a Wood-burning Stove

Follow these steps to light a wood burning stove effectively:

1. Arrange Your Wood

The first step is to stack 2-3 medium-sized logs at the bottom of the stove. Next, take your kindling and arrange it in a criss-cross pattern on top of the logs. This arrangement allows air to flow freely, which is crucial for a good burn. You can see how this should look in the images below. 

How to Light A Wood burning Stove- Step 1

Arranging the logs and kindling

How to Light A Wood burning Stove- Step 2

2. Place Your Fire Lighters on the Wood

Place a fire lighter at the bottom and top of the criss-cross stack of kindling.

How to Light A Wood burning Stove- Step 3

Placing fire lighters at the bottom and top of the kindling

3. Light the Fire Lighters to Get the Fire Started

Next, light the two fire lighters and carefully close the stove door. 

How to Light A Wood burning Stove- Step 3

Lighting the fire starters

4. Fully Open the Air Controls to Let the Fire Establish 

With the fire now started and the door closed, ensure the air controls are set to fully open and then let the fire establish for around 5-10 minutes. This step is crucial as a rich supply of oxygen during the initial phase helps to effectively burn the kindling and set a solid foundation for the logs to burn steadily. 

How to Light A Wood burning Stove- Step 4

Adjusting the air controls to fully open

How to Light A Wood burning Stove- Step 5

Let the fire establish for 5-10 minutes

5. Add More Logs

Once the fire is established, slowly open the door and place another log on top of the fire. If you want to add more logs, make sure there is enough space between them to allow adequate air flow. We recommend wearing gauntlets for this step to avoid burns from the open flames. 

How to Light A Wood burning Stove- Step 6

Adding additional logs

Note- When you add new logs, it’s important to open the door slowly, as this will let the air equalise. Opening the door too quickly will cause smoke to pour into the room. 

6. Adjust the Air Controls for Optimum Burning 

Once you’ve added more logs, you can start fine-tuning the air controls, gradually reducing the air supply to prevent the stove from over-firing. This step ensures a controlled, efficient burn, safeguarding both your stove and flue from potential damage due to excessive heat, while also prolonging the burn duration of your fire. A lively flame with lesser smoke indicates a well-ventilated fire.

How to Light A Wood burning Stove- Step 7

Adjusting the air flow controls to reduce the air supply

To get the most efficient burn, we recommend a stove pipe thermometer to tell you how hot the fire is burning. This will help you keep the fire at the optimum temperature to prevent under-firing and over-firing. 

Stove Pipe Thermometer

Stove pipe thermometer

7. Enjoy Your Fire

Sit back and enjoy the comforting warmth, knowing you’ve mastered the art of lighting a wood burning stove.

Safety Tips

As comforting and inviting as a wood-burning stove can be, safety should never be compromised. Here are some tips to ensure a safe burning experience:

Use a Fire Guard

Especially if you have pets or young children, a fire guard is essential to prevent accidental burns.

Keep the Area Clear

Ensure that the area around your stove is clear of flammable materials like paper, curtains, or furniture.

Use the Right Tools

Employ the use of long matches or a long-nosed lighter to avoid burns while lighting the fire. Utilise fireplace tools to safely adjust logs once the fire is burning.

Never Leave The Fire Unattended

Especially in the initial phases, never leave the fire unattended. Once well-established, the fire in a wood burning stove is quite safe, but it’s always wise to keep a watchful eye.

Regular Maintenance 

Regular cleaning and servicing of your stove and chimney will ensure safe operation over time.

Safety should always be at the forefront of operating any wood-burning stove. Following these tips will help ensure a safe and enjoyable wood-burning experience.


Lighting a wood-burning stove is a simple yet rewarding skill that enhances the ambiance of your home, especially during chilly evenings. By following the aforementioned steps in this guide, you can enjoy the comforting warmth of a wood-burning stove. With a bit of practice, this will soon become a cherished routine.

Ready to embrace the cosy warmth of a wood-burning stove? At Stove Industry Supplies, we offer a vast selection of wood-burning stoves and accessories to cater to your needs. Explore our range and get personalised advice from our experienced team to find the perfect stove for your home. 

Visit us at Stove Industry Supplies and let the flames begin!