Using and Maintaining a Multi-Fuel Stove or Wood-Burner

Stove Manuals

The Manufacturer’s product manual is a guide that should be referred to before and after installation.  Manufacturer’s manuals will give guidelines on cleaning, using and maintaining your stove. 

Woodburner Warehouse Manufacturer’s Stove Manuals

Chimney Sweeping

Chimneys need to be swept in order to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gasses.  Regular cleaning of the chimney will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires.  Cleaning the chimneys regularly will also ensure that your wood-burner or multi-fuel stove continues to perform well.  Chimney sweeping will remove bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages.

Chimney Sweeping frequencies will depend on a number of factors, such as, the type of fuel you are burning, the duration of use, the moisture content of the fuel and the type of chimney you have.  The guide for chimney sweeping frequencies when burning wood is quarterly when in use, and when burning coal, it is recommended that the chimney is swept annually.

NACS (National Association of Chimney Sweeps)

The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps

APICS (Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps Ltd.)



The Manufacturer’s product manual generally states which fuels are suitable for using on your Multi-fuel or Wood-burning stove.  Burning the right fuel is so important if you want to get the best from your stove.  We highly recommend the Kiln Dried Logs.   These logs provide the ultimate clean burn with maximum heat output.  Wood fuel is a renewable form of heating.  Woodfuel Wales produce great documentation on the benefits of burning Wood as fuel.

If you want to burn coal, it is essential that you choose the right smokeless coal / approved solid fuels.  The Solid Fuel Association and CPL Products (Coal Products Limited) publish documentation that will assist you.

How to light a fire

Firstly prepare the Fuel bed / grate.  The way you prepare the fuel bed / grate will depend on the fuel you burn.  If you intend to burn solid fuel, it is essential that you ensure that the ash from the previous fire has been removed.  If however you only intend to burn wood fuel, a small layer of ash should be left on the fuel bed / grate.

Open the air controls on your stove.  The Manufacturers Product User Manual will tell you where these are located.

Place a firelighter or some scrunched up paper in the centre of the firebox (We find the Natural Flamers really good).  Place the wood kindling (around 6-8 small pieces of dry softwood timber) on top of the lighting material.

Lay some larger pieces of Well Seasoned Wood or Kiln Dried Logs on top. Make sure that the logs have been split and they are no larger than 40mm square.

Light the fire lighting material and close the stove door (or leave slightly ajar for a very short spell).

Once the fire has caught you can then continue to add larger pieces of wood or solid fuel to the fire.  The door can now be fully closed.

Adjust the air vents according to the Manufacturer’s instructions.


The Stove gives off an unpleasant smell

The paint on a new stove needs to be cured (hardened) on all new stoves.  The new stove will need to be fired moderately for the first few firings, as this will ensure that the heat resistant paint is hardened.  Once the paint has cured it is then possible to fire the stove more vigorously. During the curing process the paint may develop a obnoxious smoke and smell for the first few firings.   This is normal.  Make sure that you open all doors and windows in order to ventilate the area.  Sometimes this can trigger some smoke / fire alarms.  Don’t panic this won’t last for too long.

The fire burns too fast (uncontrollably)

A fire will burn too quickly if there is an excessive air supply.  If you find that this is the case please check that the door is closed properly, and that all vents and seals on the stove.  Door seals on stoves do need to be replaced on stoves due to wear.

Leaving the vents fully open for long periods of time can also cause the fire / fuel to burn too quickly.  Once the fire has been lit you need to keep an eye on the stove until the fire is established.  Once it is established adjust the air controls accordingly. 

Check to see that the throat plate / baffle plate located internally at the top of the stove is positioned correctly and has not de-formed.

Excessive chimney draw can also be a problem if you find that the fire burns too quickly. 

The fire burns too slowly

If the fire burns too slowly, this is usually caused by poor chimney draught.  Trying to burn too much fuel or burning wet / damp (unseasoned logs) is also another issue.  Check to see that there is sufficient air supply into the room and that the air vents are not blocked.


The Stove is Smoking

A stove will smoke when there is insufficient flue draught or insufficient flue temperature.  The stove will smoke too if the fuel is wet or damp or the stove has been overloaded.

The glass is blackened

With the air control technology available on all stoves now, blackened glass is generally caused by one of three factors.  These factors are:

Burning wet / damp (unseasoned logs) fuel;

Under firing the stove;

Air vents are closed – Slumbering the stove for long periods, such as overnight burning.

Boiler stoves can sometimes struggle with keeping the glass perfectly clean as the heat from the fire.

Stove glass can be cleaned with special glass cleaners. There are various types of Stove Glass Cleaners available.

The Stove is changing Colour

When the stove is over-fired the colour of the stove can change.  Serious over-firing will change the colour to a reddish colour.  If this is the case you are burning the stove too hot.  A stove thermometer / flue gas thermometer will assist you in familiarising yourself with the stove temperature. 

Hot Controls

Some stove handles and air controls get very hot on stoves.  Please take care when operating the stove.  Heat resistant gloves will protect you from burns whilst you operate the stove and re-load the fuel.