Specialist Cleaning and Servicing of Wood Burners

Wood burns best on an ash bed

A woodburning stove burns at its best on a bed of ash. Let the ash build up to a reasonable thickness on the base of the firebox around 25-50mm. This rule is not rigid, become familiar with your stove and how it works best. Use a shovel and metal bucket A multifuel stove with a grate,is slightly different. If burning wood for long periods then let the ash build up on the grate so you have a layer covering the grate up. When it comes to burning coal make sure to empty all the ash out or the stove will not work well, and may damage the stove parts. If burning only wood then choose a dedicated woodburner if possible, as it will be more efficient. It is not recommend that wood and coal are burnt at the same time. Burning coal produces sulphuric acid and wood can contain a lot of moisture. This combination can coat the chimney with a sulphuric acid solution which can quickly eat away at the brickwork of the flu. Furthermore , the conditions for burning wood efficiently are not the same as those for the efficient burning of coal.

Wood burns best with an ample supply of air from above. When lighting a wood fire open the bottom air vent at the same time as the top air vent. This will help the fire to start more easily. When the fire is nicely burning close down, the bottom air vent and then control the stove using just the top air vent.

If the fire the dies down too much it could indicate the draw on your chimney is not sufficient enough to maintain a good fire. Use the bottom vent too and contact Invicta Chimney Sweeps for further advice and assistants.

Coal Must Be Burnt on a Grate

A multifuel stove will allow the burning of coal in the stove Multifuel stoves are designed to burn wood, coal, peat and other fuels, (but not plywood or MDF) The grate in a stove is made up of bars of metal (nearly always cast iron) with gaps in between. The bars can be fixed as one rigid unit or individual and sit in a frame inside the stove. The gaps between the bars allow air from below to pass through the coal. This also prevents the bars getting too hot and causing damage. Ensure that the grate remains unblocked and that the ash in the ashpan does not come too close to the bottom of the grate as it will restrict the flow of air to the stove and the grate may become too hot and become damaged.

Most multifuel stoves have a riddling mechanism. This is a method which allows the movement of the grate in the stove from the outside, enabling the shaking of any ash that is blocking the grate. The ash is then moved down, through the gaps in the grate, and into the ashpan. Riddling works either by moving the alternate grate bars up and down, by rotating a circular portion of the grate, or by directly shaking the whole grate. Some stoves may have a fixed (non riddling) grate. Use a poker, pushed into the body of the fire, to clear the grate of ash.

It is not recommend that you burn wood and coal at the same time. Burning coal produces sulphuric acid and wood can contain a lot of moisture. Burning wood and coal at the same time can coat your chimney in sulphuric acid solution which can quickly eat at brickwork and flu linings. The conditions for burning wood efficiently are not the same as those for burning coal efficiently, on its own. Coal Burns Best with a Bottom Vent Air Supply. When burning coal shut down the top air vent of your stove and use the bottom air vent to regulate the fire. If the fire dies down too much, there could be a problem with the draw on your chimney. Contact Invicta Chimney Sweeps for advice and assistants.

Look below for a list of wood to burn on a log burner


Low quality firewood


Good firewood, burns very well


Needs to be seasoned. Spits when burning and leaves oily deposit within chimney’s


Requires seasoning. Burns well, with pleasant fragrance


Good firewood once seasoned. Burns fast


Reasonable as firewood


One of the best woods. Can be burned green, but is best when seasoned


One of the few woods that can be burnt when green


Low quality firewood, not recommended


Only burns well once well-seasoned


Burns well


Burns well


Burns very well, but fast, should be mixed with slower burning wood

Horse Chestnut

Low quality firewood


Low quality firewood


Burns well, with a pleasant fragrance


Needs to be well seasoned, spits when burning, can form oily soot within chimneys

Sweet Chestnut

Burns after seasoning. Excessive spitting, not recommended for open fires


Needs to be well seasoned, but burns well with pleasant fragrance


Low quality firewood

Sycamore (Maple)

Good firewood, burns well


Once well-seasoned burns well, requires a mix of another fast burning wood


When seasoned it is one of the best firewood’s. Good heat, burns reasonably


Low quality firewood


Very sappy, and must be well seasoned prior to burning. Pleasant fragrance


Needs to be well seasoned, but burns well, with pleasant fragrance


With a high water content this wood only burns well when seasoned well.


Usable firewood