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The world of woodburning is an ever-changing one and with appliances becoming more efficient, firelighting techniques have had to evolve with them. The top-down method is the technique that all stove manufacturers and industry experts are now recommending. This article will show you why experts are now recommending this method and how to apply it yourself.

What is the top-down method?

In a top-down fire, the biggest logs are placed at the bottom, while the kindling and firelighters are added on top. The fire is lit from the top, and the fire spreads to the wood at the bottom once it catches.

Why is the top-down method recommended?

This method aids in the flue getting up to temperature more quickly and removes the need to open the appliance door to add fuel to the kindling, which means there is less of a chance of cooling. Lighting your fires this way will lead to a more efficient, less smoky and hotter fire. 

top down firelighting method

Top-down lighting steps

  1. Place two kiln dried logs on the grate of the woodburner
  2. Place 6-8 sticks of kiln dried kindling in a Jenga format on top of the two logs 
  3. Add only one Flamer natural firelighter in the middle of the jenga formation
  4. Set the controls of the appliance to the lighting position
  5. Light the Flamer and slowly close the door of the woodburner. The fire will slowly increase, warming the flue gradually without producing smoke and pollutants.
  6. Set the controls to the manufacturer's settings
  7. Leave the formation alone until the top of the appliance is warm and then close the primary air control. When the kindling and logs are burning, the rate of the appliance can be adjusted and more kiln dried logs can be added.

    Choosing the right firewood

    When looking for firewood, always look for the Ready to Burn certification mark. This demonstrates that the moisture content of the firewood is no more than 20% and is ready to burn immediately. We always recommend using kiln dried logs as you are guaranteed great heat output, less smoke and pollutants and an overall effective burn. 


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