Light the fire properly

How to do it

February 2018

When you heat with wood you are not only using a CO2 neutral, but also a local and renewable fuel. Fundamentally a good thing. However, if fireplaces or small scale furnaces such as wood burning stoves are operated incorrectly, they pollute the air with fine dust.

Incorrectly, with firewood heating, means lighting the fire from bottom to top.

The other way round is correct. But everything in the right order:

The right wood

First and foremost, make sure you use natural wood, which has been dried for 1-2 years in a safe place, in logs. The diameter of the wood should be max. 7-9 cm. Store the firewood for at least one day in a heated room, before use. Cold wood burns badly. Card, wood from disposable and multiple use palettes, crates, fruit boxes, wood from furniture and similar should not be used in wood heating.

Stack the wood correctly in the fireplace

Then layer the logs with a slight clearance, as a crosswise pile. The thicker logs go at the bottom and thinner ones at the top.

Combustion from the top reduces harmful smoke

For a low emission start, get 4 dry, small fir wood logs ready (cross section approx. 3x3 cm/Length: approx. 20cm) and a fire lighter (e.g. wood wool soaked in wax). Fire lighters are better than paper. Then, simply stack the four small fir wood logs crosswise, place the fire lighter in between, place the whole thing on the prepared wood stack, and kindle the fire. By stacking the logs, the combustion is much more controlled and slower. The harmful combustion gases flow through the hot flames, and burn out almost completely, before they can even escape.

You can find more info, pictures and a film about the correct fire lighting method under the following link: