Our Guide to Burning Logs Effectively
We are a professional, but friendly log supplier for residential and commercial customers throughout the South East of England.
We have an extensive range of fire lighting products, hardwood logs and kiln dried logs for burning which are ready to use in all firepits, chimeneas, pizza ovens and BBQs. However, a lot of people are not sure what log they should order and then how to effectively light a fire.
Our guide will detail our two types of logs and how you can start a log fire effectively. We will also provide important information on fire and chimney safety and burning wood and coal together. If you require additional information or have any questions, visit our FAQs or give us a call on 07967 202 016.
Our High Quality Logs
Kiln Dried Logs
Kiln dried logs are immediately ready to use from when they arrive at your property. They are dried to an average of 18% or less giving them the properties they need to burn easily. The lower moisture means the log doesn’t have to use too much energy to remove excess moisture and instead can use that energy to heat up the room.
The lower moisture content of kiln dried logs benefits them in quick use, but also performance. Unlike most other logs, these will catch light quickly and are highly efficient at warming up the room due to the high heat output. These are some of the highest quality logs available which explains why it is such a popular choice. Plus, kiln dried logs are suitable for use in multi-fuel stoves, wood burners, open fires and chimeneas.
Seasoned Hardwood Logs
Our seasoned hardwood logs are of great quality and compared to kiln dried logs, they have a slightly increased moisture level. These logs for burning are not dried as much and are left with a 23% or less moisture rating. This means that it requires a bit more time for the wood to be ready for use and it requires more time when being burnt to get the most out of the wood.
Seasoned hardwood logs are usually ready for use in 1 to 2 weeks and have a medium heat output compared to the kiln dried variant. These logs are ideally used in multi-fuel stoves, open fires, wood burners and chimeneas.
How to Light a Log Fire
Nothing is more satisfying that warming up your property while sitting in front of a lovely log fire. The sight and the sound of crackling fireplace logs is something to behold and is perfect during the winter months.
This guide will inform you of the steps you should take before and during the process of lighting a fire. Please do note that not all fireplaces, fuels and wood bringing appliances are the same. This might require multiple tries in order to find out what best suits you.
Preparing the Appliance
As with most things, before you start trying to build up logs in the fireplace, you should look at ensuring the appliance is in good working order. This includes ensuring your chimney is kept clean (we suggest it is cleaned bi-annually by a qualified chimney sweep) and ensuring the appliance has suitable ventilation. This is one of the most important steps when lighting a fire.
Cleaning the Appliance
This part also has the term of ‘rake the grate’. This is where you use a poker to allow the old ash that is left in the appliance to fall into the ash pan below. Using a soft brush, sweep away any remaining ash to leave your fireplace and hearth clean. This does not mean clearing out the grate completely as you only need to remove ash and small cinders. If there are some part-burnt pieces of firewood, fireplace logs or solid fuel, these should be left as they are ideal to help get your new log fire off to a good start.
Emptying the Ash Pan
This is a key part but can be rather dangerous if not done properly. Cinders from a previous log fire that have fallen through the grate can remain hot for many hours. When emptying the ash pan, you need to be careful to not empty the ash and hot cinders into any combustible containers. Using a metal container that is placed on the hearth is ideal as it keeps the ash away from carpets (where the heat would transfer and potentially cause a house fire).
Keeping the fire bed clear of decorative items is essential when emptying the ash pan. When you are ready to empty the ash pan, have your container close to hand and slowly tip the ash into your container. However, when doing this, you need to be careful of the speed that you empty the ash tray. Doing this too fast can result in you and your surrounding area being covered in a cloud of ash. Remove the ash from the room and place the parts back, ready for the next fire to be lit.
Laying the Fire Bed
This is the start of the process of building up a bed for your logs to lay on and catch light. Laying the fire bed is started by placing two or three firelighters on the fire bed. Kindling is required next as it is used to make a combustion chamber around the firelighters. You place the kindling against the appliances back wall and then continue to place four or five more pieces against the first one. You do however need to leave enough space to reach the firelighters.
Light the Fire
Now is the time to start the fire. No logs for burning should be added to the fire at this stage. Light the firelighters and wait for the kindling to begin to burn.
Be Patient & Lay the Logs For Burning
This is the last stage. You need to be patient and wait for the flames to be established. Once there are flames, add some small logs to the fire and again, wait for them to start burning. Once the smaller logs start to burn, add some larger logs to the fire. When adding logs, you will need to be looking to place logs in areas that can help the fire spread and fill the grate.
Placing logs in without being patient is one of the reasons a log fire goes out. You snuff out the flame and it is a hard process to get it to light up once again. Once you are happy with the number of logs in the appliance, you should replace your fire guard and clear away any fire making materials you have around. Also, if you have a log basket, you should refill it ensuring it is ready for when you need it next.
The advice in this guide to lighting a log fire is not guaranteed to work at all times. If you are to use the information supplied in this guide, you do this at your own risk and we will not accept any liability nor claims for your actions. Please light your fires carefully and responsibly.
Fire and Chimney Safety
When burning wood in a fireplace, you need to be careful and monitor the fire and chimney to ensure they are in peak condition. The guide above goes through the processes of setting up for a fire, but it also details the process of cleaning out the fireplace before it is used. You also need to ensure the chimney is in good condition before use as well. Keeping it in peak condition can protect you from potential house fires further down the line.
If you have stored logs in your garden and they have become soaked due to not being covered, they are not suitable for use. Burning wet wood can result in serious problems with the chimney and in general aren’t as effective at warming up the property. Wet wood can result in two serious problems which are:
Blockage and Chimney Fires
Water vapour gets combined with other gases and particles inside the chimney and unless the chimney is kept warm, the vapour turns into a hard substance that can have the same characteristics as tar. This substance can even seep into the brickwork of any chimneys that are slightly unlined.
This residue that builds up can eventually cause the chimney to be completely blocked. This substance can also ignite which will cause a dangerous chimney fire.
The condensation caused by burning wet wood builds up in the upper part of the chimney. This condensation is often acidic and will corrode the inner surface of a metal liner and eventually cause perforations or the failure of the liner.
Keeping Your Chimney Clean
To avoid the two issues mentioned above, you can do two things. First is to avoid using wet wood and let them dry out over time. Doing this will aid in avoiding the build-up of any tar like substance in the chimney and avoid the corrosion of the metal inner liner. The second method of avoiding these issues will be to keep your chimney clean.
Having your chimney swept regularly will help you burn fuel more efficiently and minimise any possible damages to your appliance or chimney. Hiring a chimney sweep will benefit you greatly. However, this is not a onetime thing. Instead you should get your chimney swept multiple times per year depending on what fuel you use. Contact a chimney sweep as they will be able to better advise on what frequency you should have it done.