The new way of burning wood is all about responsiblity. Burning a fire where no materials are released – in any case as little as possible – that are hazardous to people and the environment. And whereby a good fire is created, which burns well and has a beautiful display of flames. The new way of burning wood method is known as the Swiss method. Why? Because in Switzerland research was done into the best and most environment-friendly method of stoking a wood-burning stove. The best comparison is a burning candle that burns from top to bottom.
The correct materials
Responsible burning wood obviously depends as well on the materials you use. Modern fireplaces meet the strictest European environmental requirements and have a high yield. This means that less heat and fewer hazardous materials are released to the outside via the chimney. Furthermore, it is also important that the fireplace is installed by a certified specialist and that the chimney is cleaned every year. Subsequently, always use clean and dry wood and don’t burn wood during misty or windless weather. Under these weather conditions, the chimney draws less than normal and the smoke and gases are dispersed less quickly. That is not good for you and for your neighbours.
The Swiss method
Get going! Applying the step-by-step plan below, you create a beautiful wood fire.
You will need:
- Cleaved wood logs of around 25 to 30 cm long with a thickness of around 7 cm
- Firelighters of approx. 10 cm long with a thickness of 3 cm
- A kindling agent, such as firelighters. Never use flammable liquids, such as spirit or paraffin.
- A lighter or matches
- Open the air supply and the valve of the flue completely.
- Place a sufficient number of logs stacked criss-cross in the fireplace. It’s like building a tower. The instruction booklet of your fireplace will advise you about the quantity of logs. That depends on the size of the fireplace.
- Make sure that the logs are not lying against one another and place the split side of the log facing upwards.
- Place the kindling wood criss-cross on the stoking wood with two or three firelighters in between.
Lighting the fireplace
- Light the fire from above, just like with a candle. That way you heat the chimney well. That also burns the gases and smoke released from the underlying logs. This is the most efficient method of getting the fire going swiftly and without any problems.
- Light the firelighters and close the door of the fireplace.
- After around 20 minutes you will have a complete and smoke-free fire.
While you burn wood
- Fill more wood only if the logs are completely burnt and there is a bed of ashes. It is sufficient to supplement with one layer of logs.
- Open the fireplace door and place the new logs carefully in the red-glowing ash.
- Once the logs are burning well after a few minutes, you can close the primary air supply using the air slide valve. The user manual of your fireplace explains what the primary air supply is.
- The secondary air supply and window aeration are always kept open even if the room temperature becomes too high. Also see the user manual for this.
Finished burning wood
- Finished burning wood? Don’t add any more wood and let the fireplace cool down.
- Close the air slide valve only when the fireplace has cooled down completely.
Want to view the Swiss burning wood method with your own eyes? View our instruction video about the new way of burning wood.