Wood Burner Guides

If you have a wood burning stove, you might be wondering if there’s any benefit to burning different kinds of wood. To get the most out of your stove, we recommend selecting your woods with care. The right choices can result in a hotter, longer-lasting fire that requires less interference to keep alight.

Use Hardwoods Instead Of Softwoods

Hardwood is denser than softwood, therefore it will burn for longer. When you choose a hardwood, you won’t have to keep putting logs on the fire over and over to ensure there’s enough fuel. To ensure that your hardwood will burn well, you should check that it’s dry enough. Simply tapping two pieces of wood against each other should be a good enough test. If there’s a nice clacking sound, the wood is dry enough to burn. A dull noise means that the wood has too much moisture.

How To Stack The Wood In Your Stove

The best way to light a wood stove is to start with two large logs at the bottom. Next, you place a few layers of kindling on top. Then put a couple of fire lighters down, before topping off the stack with another log. Using a lighter with a long stem, ignite the firelighters and watch your perfectly stacked stove fill with beautiful yellow flames.

logs of wood stacked up for fire

Which Woods Smell Best?

Some logs will produce a better smelling smoke than others. Applewood and pear smell beautiful, but it don’t burn particularly well. If you want to use these, you’re best to combine them with other logs that will keep the flame alight.

A good all-rounder that burns well and smells lovely is cherry. If you’re a fan of aromatic smells, you may also enjoy the scent of eucalyptus logs.

Logs To Avoid

You’re unlikely to find these in stores, but if you’re chopping down your own trees you should be mindful that not all woods burn well. Some will simply produce a disappointing flame, whereas others will make a big mess and could generate a lot of nasty black smoke.

Poplar will create a horrible cloud of black smoke, so it’s best to avoid burning this, particularly inside the home. You must also avoid burning laburnum logs, as this can be dangerous. The tree itself is poisonous, and it’ll produce a horrible smelling smoke as well as an unpleasant, sulphurous sap. If you choose to burn laburnum logs, you risk ruining your wood burning stove.

Look After Your Wood Burning Stove With SJ Chimneys

Make sure your stove is prepared to burn your favourite logs by getting it properly serviced. After an inspection, your stove can be optimised to generate the best heat and reduce any smoke from polluting your home. Get in touch today to book your stove’s next service.

If you’re the proud owner of a wood burner, you may have encountered some issues with it. Some of these problems will require a professional to carry out repair work, and others might just be down to user error. To help you spot which problems may indicate you need a stove expert, we’ve put together this guide to some of the most common issues.

You’re Struggling To Light Your Wood Burner

It can be difficult to get the knack for lighting a wood burner. You may need a little extra practise to get up to speed with stove lighting. Make sure you’ve stacked the wood, kindling and firelighters correctly to start with. You should also check that the controls are set right, as too much or too little heat can cause problems. Familiarise yourself with the controls that your stove has, and adjust them accordingly.

It could also be that there isn’t enough oxygen to feed the flames. There must be enough of a draught to draw some air through the system. If the chimney is blocked or needs cleaning, you’ll need to do this to ensure your stove will light.

Your Wood Doesn’t Burn Well

A weak flame can be caused by a number of issues. Wood that’s damp or wet won’t burn very well, so make sure that the fuel you’re using is dried appropriately. You should also double-check that the wood you’re using is meant to be burned. Not all woods will burn very well, and some can make a huge mess if you’re not careful. If you’ve burned a wood that produces a lot of resin or sticky sap, you could clog up your flue.

wood burner

Your Wood Burner Is Producing Smoke

All wood produces some kind of smoke as it burns, but very little should be coming into your home. If there’s smoke in your room, you may have an issue with the flue or the chimney. If this is the case, you’ll need to call an expert in to have a look.

However, smoke isn’t always a result of a fault in the system. It could be due to a lack of ventilation, as the smoke won’t be removed if there isn’t an air supply. You should also check that you’re burning the right type of wood, as some will produce a lot more smoke than others. Poplar in particular should be avoided, as it will emit a lot of nasty, black smoke.

For Wood Burner Repairs & Maintenance, Choose SJ Chimneys

If you’re experiencing any issues with your wood burner that can’t be put down to human error, get in touch with us today. We’d be happy to come out and inspect your stove, flue and chimney and remedy any problems you may have.

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