Light my Fire!!

(These instructions are based upon using a Clearview stove – all stoves are slightly different, if in doubt please consult the manufacturer’s instructions)

Many people are tempted to light their woodburner using firelighters but all you really need is newspaper & kindling.

Firelighters are often treated with chemicals which can attack the ceramic glass causing irreversible cracking.



Fill the base/grate with loosely scrunched up newspaper, around 8 sheets.

Put a very large handful of kindling, as much as you can hold in your two hands, on top of the paper to form a pyramid shape.

Next, put a couple of small skinny logs on top of that.

Make sure all air vents are fully open.

Light the newspaper in several places and push the door to, leaving slightly ajar.

Once the kindling has caught, you will hear it crackling, close the door, still leaving all air vents open.



A stove thermometer is an absolute must. Without it, you will have no idea at all how hot, or not, your stove is.

At around 300 degrees Fahrenheit close the primary air.

At around 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit close the secondary air leaving it slightly open allowing the air to pull in and wash over the glass keeping it clear.

We recommend burning hard woods such as ash. Always ensure the wood is dry. Moisture content should be 15% or less. This can be easily checked with an inexpensive moisture meter.

Softwood kindling is preferred as it gives an intense flash of heat, igniting the hard wood, whilst pushing the cold air out of the flue & warming up the chimney to assist its performance.


This leads us to the question of DOWNDRAUGHT


If you are experiencing occasional downdraught you could check the draught before lighting the stove simply by putting your hand inside the stove and see if you can feel air coming down into the stove.

Alternatively, open the stove door and hold a lit match just inside at the top edge – check to see if the flame is pulling into the stove or pushing out towards you.

You need to push out the plug of cold air with a blast of hot air – easily achieved if you use plenty of newspaper & kindling.

If you are experiencing persistent downdraught intervention may be required.

Firstly, always make a note of the weather conditions when it occurs.

Sometimes fitting an anti-downdraught cowl can help although it can be a bit hit & miss.

Downdraught can also be caused by air starvation and the installation of a vent may help.


Feel free to call or contact us for advice. We look forward to hearing from you.

Browns of London

020 7624 4756