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Top/Down or Down/Top when Lighting Your Wood Burner ... what do you do?


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Apologies if this has been asked before .....

 

Must admit I have always used the Down/Top method of lighting my Wood Burner, but now after reading `Norwegian Wood` by Lars Mytting, I reckon the Top/Down method makes more sense as it heats the flue up quicker & reduces smoke coming into the room when the wood burner door is opened during lighting & loading wood + stops unnecessary smoke going into the atmosphere, resulting in less pollution. I never thought about lighting the fire this way, so I`m going to try this when I next light my fire to see if Lars is indeed right .... what do you folks do?   

Edited by Logdaft
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Both work,   top down is helpful if you have a steel twin wall flue system as these can suffer from cold air plugging.   In a brick chimney I use bottom up,  so firelighter on top of the bottom layer of kindling but with the bulk of the kindling stacked over the top of it.

 

A

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I chuck a firefighter in. Then literally throw some kindling or processing chips on top then dump a few slender logs in and have never had a problem. I’m lighting at least one stove a day, generally two and don’t have the inclination to go all arty-farty with it. 
 

Pollution? Give over! 🤣🤣🤣 

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2 hours ago, Logdaft said:

Apologies if this has been asked before .....

 

Must admit I have always used the Down/Top method of lighting my Wood Burner, but now after reading `Norwegian Wood` by Lars Mytting, I reckon the Top/Down method makes more sense as it heats the flue up quicker & reduces smoke coming into the room when the wood burner door is opened during lighting & loading wood + stops unnecessary smoke going into the atmosphere, resulting in less pollution. I never thought about lighting the fire this way, so I`m going to try this when I next light my fire to see if Lars is indeed right .... what do you folks do?   

I had the same inspiration after reading the Lars Mytting book. I was dubious about the top down method until I actually tried it myself. It really does work surprisingly well. Must admit that after a while I reverted to normally using the conventional down top method though, as never had a problem with lighting our stove, and no excessive smoke. It's not as fun though! 

Agree with a previous point, there's no excuse for firelighters; nowt wrong with newspaper or card and a few sticks of nice dry kindling, (old floorboards are perfect).

It's always good to reduce smoke, pollution anyway. 

Edited by sime42
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51 minutes ago, Paul in the woods said:

Firelighters are the unnecessary spawn of the devil. Dry kindling, which last year I mostly just collected up when splitting logs, and a couple of screwed up pieces of paper is all you need.

 

I use both bottom up and top down methods depending of what size logs I've got.

Firelighters are great, but then I like most things the Devil tempts us with. ;)

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Top down method for me.

 

I have a Norwegian wood burner in my Norwegian house.  The manufacturer recommends the top down method aka the Swiss method.

 

By the time I have built the pile and tucked various bits of paper, birch bark etc I light the top, come back 30 mins approx later and there is a nice glowing full bed of embers, now its time to put the logs on.

 

Some may scoff at the method but I have a modern stove  but I burn mostly pine and spruce and birch.  Typical for Scandiwegia.  We have had the flue cleaned 2 twice by the Kommune and hardly any soot has come out as it burns so hot and clean.

 

The glass is also pretty much soot free with this method.

 

Give it a go, I only light stove fired this way now.  It also works on campfires depending on the wind etc.

 

 

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Another reason for using the top down method: On several occasions I have lit the kindling in the traditional method and then been distracted by a telephone call or something else and forgotten to put bigger logs on and find the kindling has all burnt away and I have to start again.  

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57 minutes ago, Honda said:

Another reason for using the top down method: On several occasions I have lit the kindling in the traditional method and then been distracted by a telephone call or something else and forgotten to put bigger logs on and find the kindling has all burnt away and I have to start again.  

Absolutely, top down for me every time. Start with a couple of reasonable logs and then once lit you can leave it for half an hour at least.

 

I use mostly birch bark for firelighters, either collect it up at the end of a splitting session or every now and then you chip some birch brash 1-2" diameter and the chip fires to the front of the truck while the papery bark blows back round and settles at the tailgate - when this happens fill a carrier bag or two.

 

Paper doesn't give much heat and then the ash blocks airflow, although I have used it for years the are better things.

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