Home is where the heat is

November 10, 2014 by emily.boriosi No Comments

Polwheveral - woodburner

Many of our cottages eschew central heating in favour of wood burning stoves or ‘wood burners’. Far more efficient than gas electric heating, lots of country folk with easy access to wood swear by their wood burners for heating their house and in some cases their water too.

As a guest in one of our holiday cottages, there’s something comforting about the whisper of air being dragged into the warming stove and the crackle of wood as you cosy up on the sofa in the evening. It’s second only to an open fire (we have those too!) but gives you far more heat around the house.

But keeping a fire going is a lot like having a pet in the house. It needs regular attention or it’s in danger of sulking or running amok. With careful maintenance though, the dedicated ‘stovie’ can sometimes get the stove to burn through the night, providing they’ve got the right wood and weather conditions.

A few tips on how to run the stove efficiently won’t replace reading the instructions, but they will give you a helping hand getting it going and keeping it lit.

Firstly, you need to make sure that the wood you are using is dry. Wet wood has a water-content somewhere between 65-90% and produces large amounts of tar and soot, which can lead to chimney fires. Don’t worry though, the logs we provide are all dried and seasoned for your heating pleasure.

This video shows you how to position your logs in the burner. The important thing to note is to use plenty of paper at the bottom of the stove.

Next, use thin sticks on top of the paper for kindling. Also, make sure you have all the vents open on the burner when lighting and to leave the door open until the fire takes hold. Once it has, fill the burner three quarters full with wood and close the door.

To get the fire really hot, leave the vents open for a short while to build up the heat, then half close the vents to slow the burn down.

So there you have it. All you have to do now is keep that fire going!

To be in with a chance of keeping that warmth going through the night, you need to have had the fire burning for a few hours before you go bed to build up a layer of ash on the bottom.

You also have to specially select the wood you are going to use for overnight burning. It will need to be wood of a fairly regular size and shape to enable you to get plenty in with minimal air gaps. Fill your burner right up.

Once filled, you should allow enough air to enter the burner until the smoke stops and the fire is up to temperature, then close all the vents and head up to bed. With any luck and if you’re an early riser, you will still have a few embers to wake up to.

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