Stoking wood brings warmth and cosiness into your home. Using wood responsibly is important for both nature and your safety, which is why we at DRU are happy to provide stoking advice. If you apply our stoking advice, you will achieve optimum efficiency and minimum emissions, allowing you to enjoy your fire to the full! Moreover, you will use less wood, which is also more economical. In this blog you will find all our tips on how to responsibly fire your wood-fired stove:

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Clean and safe stoking a wood stove

Not only important, but also good for your wallet! Real wood fires are still very popular because of the authentic atmosphere that the fire gives, but firing a wood fire is simply not as simple as a gas fire.

There are several factors that influence how cleanly and safely a wood fire can be stoked. The combustion of wood releases flue gases. The amount of flue gases released can be limited by using our four tips. If you do not apply our stoking tips, the emissions from your wood-fired fireplace will be greater, you will achieve a lower efficiency and stoking the wood stove may not be entirely harmless.

1. Buy the right wood fire for your situation

When you buy a wood fire, you want to enjoy it for as long as possible. Take the time to choose your new fireplace and take into account a number of points that will allow you to enjoy a beautiful wood-fired fire that heats your home responsibly for years to come.

For instance, how high should the efficiency and capacity of your wood-fired fireplace be? To buy the right wood fire for your situation, it is important to calculate this in advance and take it into account. Are you buying a wood fire with too high a capacity for your space? Then it will quickly become too hot. You don't want to let the fire burn just a little bit (e.g. at half the capacity). If you do not let the fire burn optimally, you will cause odour nuisance, greater particulate emissions and more pollution in the fireplace.

Another concern is the removal of flue gases. When installing the wood fire, it is very important that it is properly connected to the flue. This not only promotes clean combustion, but also ensures that as little flue gas as possible is released into the home. Position the wood fire correctly and create a safe situation for stoking wood. 

We have clearly listed all the points to consider when buying a wood fire in our blog. Check out the points and easily calculate the required efficiency and output of your wood-fired stove with our calculator!

Things to consider when buying a wood-burning stove

wood fire - dru fire

2. Fire with the right wood

Not all wood is suitable for firing. And, even if you have found the right kind of wood to fire, the wood is not always suitable for burning in the wood burner. There are two requirements that firewood must meet to achieve clean and safe combustion; it must not be wet and it must be unprocessed.

Why you should not burn wet wood

Wet wood is bad firewood. It is difficult to light wet wood and because of the excessive moisture content in the wood, combustion is inefficient leading to reduced heat output. Also, wet wood produces more smoke and harmful emissions when you burn it causing odour nuisance and creosote forms in the fire and chimney increasing the chances of a chimney fire.

So always burn properly dry wood to improve combustion efficiency, ensure safety and minimise environmental impact!

Why firewood should be untreated

Never burn wood that has been chemically treated, processed or painted! Burning processed and treated wood can produce toxic fumes. Besides being unsafe for you yourself, this is also very harmful to the environment. 

A good fire will at most produce some white or colourless smoke consisting mainly of water vapour. You can recognise faulty firewood when a lot of black, grey or grey-blue smoke is released during combustion. In this case, let the fire go out quietly and cool down and clear the fire of wood and soot residue before relighting the fire with clean, untreated firewood.

Want to know exactly which wood is and which is not suitable for burning in a wood-fired stove? Find out in our blog!

Firewood for the fireplace

3. Firing wood according to the Swiss method: responsible and safe

At DRU we recommend wood firing according to the Swiss method. The Swiss method ensures safe and clean heating. We are happy to explain it to you in the steps below. Firing according to the Swiss Method works as follows:

Lighting the fire

To use the Swiss method, place large logs at the bottom of the stove and then place the smaller logs on top. Next, you light the small logs, causing the fire to start burning gently from the top. By lighting the fire from the top, less smoke is produced as the wood burns.

Refilling the stove or fireplace

Firing according to the Swiss method means topping up the firebox when small flames are still visible and a glow bed is visible on the stove bottom. Slowly open the door of the stove or wood burner to prevent smoke escaping into the living room. Carefully slide the remaining sections together in the middle of the fire chamber. Again place some logs with the cleaved side down in the fire chamber and open the air supply for rapid ignition. As soon as the logs or briquettes have caught fire, you can switch the air supply back to 'normal'.

Would you like more information on firing according to the Swiss method? Feel free to contact one of our specialists!

wood fire - dru fire

4. Done firing wood?

You don't 'switch off' a wood fire. To stop the fire, you let the stove burn out quietly and do not put any new wood on the fire. In addition, by limiting the oxygen supply slightly, the fire will slowly extinguish. 

Maintain your wood fire properly to burn clean wood

There is no need to clean your fire after every fire. Instead, we recommend leaving a layer of ash. This creates a layer of insulation at the bottom, so your stove will reach temperature faster the next time you fire, which improves the quality of combustion. If you stoke in the right way, you always reach the right temperature in the fire, which ensures that the windows stay clean. Should any soot form here after some time, you can easily wipe it clean with a wet cloth dipped in some ash. 

Besides cleaning the fire, regular maintenance is desirable. Have your chimney swept and checked annually by a recognised party to prevent problems. Want to know more about maintaining a wood fire? Read our blog.

Maintaining a wood fire

Extra tip: read the instructions for use or ask your dealer

The aforementioned tips together form a general heating recommendation for stoking an open fire or wood-burning stove. Stoking wood in the right way varies slightly per stove, so always read your stove's instructions for use carefully or ask your dealer for advice beforehand.

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