How to light the fire when using smokeless fuels
What do you need?
Step 1. Clear the Fireplace
Make sure your grate is cleared and the ash pan is empty. Smokeless fuels burn from the bottom up mostly, meaning the air flow needs to come from underneath therefore, keeping the grate clear lets the air pass through to the bottom of the fuel.
Step 2. Build a Base
Place a good base of kindling on the grate in a criss-crossed pattern to allow air to flow between the pieces. Place some firelighters between the gaps and pop some more kindling on the top.
Step 3. Light your Base
Light your firelighters and allow the kindling to catch alight. Wait for a healthy flame to be present.
Step 4. Add your Fuel
Now your kindling is burning away, add your smokeless fuel. Using approximate 2 shovelfuls to start with will stop the flame from being smothered. Making sure air is flowing from under the fuel. If you have air vents at the top and bottom of your stove, allow the bottom ones to be open and close the top ones to create a circulation.
Step 5. Allow the Fire to Establish
Allow the smokeless coals to ignite, not touching the fire for around half an hour will give it time to fully establish and come to temperature.
Step 6. Top up and Tend
Once the fire is fully established it will need little tending to. Any prodding should be done from the bottom to keep air gaps in the grate clear. Disturbing the fuel should be done as little as possible, stirring it up too much will cause it to go out.
Smokeless fuels do not tend to generate a large flame so do not be concerned if the flame is small, the heat will still be present.
Only top up the coals when the heat appears to be dying down. If you are looking for a larger flame then adding a log on the top will be your best option, this will contribute to the heat production so be wary of over-fuelling your fire and causing it to become uncontrollable.