Home Fireplaces & Hearth Fireplace FAQ's How to do start-up fires in a new woodstove

How to do start-up fires in a new woodstove

VC-ResAcclaim1A series of three break-in fires is required. The first is to raise the surface temperature of the stove to 200 degrees. Another is to raise the surface temperature to 300 degrees. And yet another is to raise the surface temperature to 400 degrees.  A stove top thermometer is required for this procedure and the stove should be allowed to cool to room temperature between fires. Note: Use less wood. You can always add more. Temperatures are ideal and should be used as a guide for proper appliance break-in. To start a fire, you need three things: heat, fuel, and air. The heat is provided by a match or lighter. For the fuel, you should use plenty of fire starter, such as crumpled newspaper and 1″ x 1″ dry kindling. Add wood starting with small splits, gradually building to larger pieces of wood as a coal bed builds. The force in the chimney called draft supplies the air.  Opening the draft control fully will allow the maximum amount of primary air to be drawn into the appliance by the draft, which is supplied by the chimney. Note: Never open an ash pan door to start a fire. You will damage your stove. If additional start-up air is required, slightly open a load door during initial startup. Some chimney systems have little or no draft when static (no fire in the appliance). Even worse, some chimney systems have a reverse draft when static. Appliances vented into chimney systems with inadequate or reverse draft will be difficult to start and may emit smoke into the building. Good fire starting technique and a basic understanding of house pressurization and its effect on chimney systems is required when inadequate or reverse draft is present. Not all negative pressure situations are easily corrected. For information please visit,, a non-profit and very informative website. On initial firings, the exterior of the stove will smoke. This is normal and will happen with greater intensity on a painted stove. It will subside after the first few fires. You may have to open a door or window near the stove. The glass on your stove will become dirty on the first few fires. It will also become dirty if burning wet wood, under slow burn, and if adequate draft is not available. We can provide you with glass cleaner that will not harm your stove glass. Draft is a force that exists in a properly designed and functioning chimney system. It pulls air into the combustion chamber and expels smoke and combustion gases from the appliance. The ability for draft to exist depends on many factors: chimney location and height, elbows, horizontal runs, flue size, house construction, house pressurization as well as atmospheric and environmental conditions. Wood is the fuel for your stove. Generally, dry hard wood that is properly sized will allow you to achieve desired burn times and heat output. Soft wood is less dense than hard wood and has fewer BTUs per volume. Wood that is cut too short will not fill the firebox. Green wood has high water content and water does not burn! Depending on your installation, certain accessories may be required such as a heat shield or an outside air kit. All ducting must be non-combustible and clearances to combustible materials must be maintained. There are other accessories you may find indispensable such as a stove top thermometer, hearth gloves, a tool set, a double bottom ash bucket, and a wood rack.

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