Always try to burn well seasoned wood, that is wood with a moisture content of between 15 to 20% – Damp wood will not burn well and will lead to the build up of unwanted deposits of tar and creosote in the chimney.
When building a fire in your wood-burning stove, try to do it on a bed of ash – Place larger wood on the bottom with progressively smaller wood towards the top. Place kindling and fire-lighter on the top – Try to limit the amount of paper you use, not only will this smother the fire in its early stages, pieces of burning paper can fly up the chimney and ignite tar and creosote deposits potentially causing a chimney fire.
If the glass in the door of your wood-burning stove needs cleaning, simply wet some newspaper, dip it into the ash in the stove and then rub it on the glass. Then remove the excess with a dry piece of newspaper; you will be surprised at the results. Your glass will come up clean and sparkling, and this won’t damage the glass.
Always burn your wood-burning stove hot, this will help prevent harmful deposits forming in your chimney. A stove thermometer can help you achieve an optimum burn. However, if your room begins to become too hot, simply let the wood in the stove burn down before adding further fuel.
Never over-fire your stove or open fire, flames should never be allowed to travel up your chimney. Again this could potentially cause a chimney fire and could cause damage to your stove, for example, causing the baffle (throat plate) to buckle or even crack.
Periodically give your carbon monoxide alarm a press to ensure it is still working – This might just save a life.