What A Wood Stove Fire Should Look Like?

Fireplaces come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing that they have in common is a burning fire. A wood stove can produce so much more than just warmth for your home: it’s also an opportunity to show off some of the flame colors and patterns you might not see with other types of fuel! The following article will provide you with useful information on what a wood stove fire should look like, as well as how best to maintain your fireplace for optimal performance.

A wood stove fire should be a dancing flame, with a nice yellow color. These are the things that you need to know about what a good wood stove fire is like. Read on for more information on how to get your wood stove looking just right!

It’s important to keep in mind that these guidelines represent an average or ideal situation and there may be times when they do not apply.stove

What A Wood Stove Fire Should Look Like

A wood stove fire should look like a campfire with character. It shouldn’t be too big or small, and it will burn for as long as you need it to depend on what you are cooking up in the kitchen. The most important thing is that hot coals remain under your pot so nothing burns and food cooks evenly!

Follow a natural flow of the fire while ensuring coals are always under your pot. The flames should be jumping up and down in an even motion while popping out some embers from time to time. You will know when it is safe to put on another log if you see glowing orange coals underneath or around your cooking vessel. If you add too much wood, smoke will start coming out from wherever the wood touches the stove which means there isn’t enough oxygen getting through so keep adding small pieces until it burns cleanly with just a thin plume of blueish-white smoke!

Smoldering Fire

A smoldering fire is a slow, steady burn. It looks like glowing embers and usually has some blue color at the base of the flame. The smoke coming off this type of wood stove fire smells clean and sweet. This is a sign of low pollution and efficient combustion.

This type of wood stove fire can burn all night long without excessive build-up in the chimney flue, which means less creosote and better indoor air quality (IAQ). Smoldering fires also produce more heat than flaming ones because they last longer.

Roaring Fire and Burning Embers

The fire should burn with a roar and emit plenty of heat. If the flames look like they are too small, give the wood some more time to break down or use bigger pieces. Bigger logs will also make it easier for your stove to maintain its ideal temperature throughout the day because there’s less chance that you’ll need to add more fuel as often.

  • The fire should have plenty of flames.
  • If the fire looks like it is too small, give the wood some more time to break down or use bigger pieces.
  • Bigger logs will also make it easier for your stove to maintain its ideal temperature throughout the day because there’s less chance that you need to add more fuel as often.
  • If flames look like they are too small, give the wood some time or use bigger pieces.Bigger logs help stoves stay at consistent temperatures and reduces how much is needed over a period of time (reduces consumption).
  • The fire should burn with a roar and emit plenty of heat.
  • If the flames look like they are too small, give the wood some time to break down or use bigger pieces.
  • Give either more time or bigger pieces if it doesn’t have enough flames/heat for long periods at a time.
See also
What To Look For When Buying A Wood Burning Stove

How much wood should I use?

In general, the thicker and damper your firewood is, the less you need to put in. For a small stove or fireplace insert with a thin door opening, about three logs will do it. In general, if one-third of each log is exposed above the grate when all are burning well without smoking excessively, this would be considered an optimum load for most stoves. However, before lighting up check that there’s enough room between each piece of wood so they don’t touch while burning – ideally around four inches apart – otherwise air can get trapped within instead of circulating throughout which causes them to burn inefficiently and smoke more. A good rule of thumb is to have enough room for them to expand by at least 50%, particularly with thicker logs.

When lighting up, if you can get away with less wood it’s better – especially when using thin stove doors where too much may not allow the door to open fully. It also depends on how well insulated your house is and whether or not you have a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV). For HRVs that take in outside air, be aware this will draw additional cold air into the home which makes it harder for your fire to keep heating things up so use more fuel than normal. Also, remember that opening windows while your burn helps increase airflow through the unit making it easier for your stove/fireplace to combust properly generating even more heat output.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA recommends that you build a wood fire to burn for at least 20 minutes or until the logs have reduced in size and turned white all over. If you do not have a thermometer, the EPA recommends that once your fire is blazing to place an inverted pot on top of one of the logs. If it starts to cool down within five minutes or less, turn up the heat until the pot begins to warm again.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) specifies that a good wood stove should be able to burn at least 0.75 kilograms per hour in order to qualify as being efficient enough for home heating purposes. This also means that if you only have access to smaller pieces of timber then this kindling can still be used because there will simply just need more materials going into producing the same amount of energy output over time.

What about a fire screen?

Should I use one and should it be closed or open when the fire is going? Does this affect how much wood you need to put in? A screen can help reduce radiant heat damage to nearby surfaces such as paintwork, cabinets, etc., but isn’t necessary for keeping sparks out of your living space. Some screens are made with mesh that allows more airflow through than wire which reduces smoke production so they may also be used to increase efficiency by allowing better airflow throughout your unit making it easier for combustion gases to go up the chimney instead of being recirculated back into the room where they create less efficient smoldering fires which produce higher levels of creosote (a combustible tar that forms when the gases and smoke particles condense onto cool surfaces).

See also
Are Wood Burning Stoves Easy To Use?

For normal operation without a screen, you should leave your stove door open about an inch. This allows for good airflow through the fire bed so it can burn hot enough to create high combustion temperatures which prevent creosotes from forming as easily. If there’s not enough oxygen available due to excessive back pressure (i.e., if your chimney is too small or blocked), then these conditions are ripe for low-temperature smoldering fires which produce more creosote than they would otherwise. If the fire is still smoldering after it burns out, then more wood needs to be added, and/or your chimney may need to be cleaned.stove

If you do use a screen while the stove is in operation, we recommend leaving it open so there’s enough air available for the complete combustion of all fuel gases. The only time when closing the door on a hot fire would make sense (which should never happen if you have a properly sized air supply) is when using an auxiliary heat exchanger such as our Clean Burn system which allows even higher efficiency than normal by recirculating exhaust gas through secondary chambers that extract more heat from them before releasing them into the atmosphere. This type of installation requires some extra maintenance but can increase overall efficiency by up to 30% according to some tests.

Anyone who wants a wood stove should be able to install it themselves with the proper instructions, but if you are unsure about any part of the process or have problems after completing your installation then you should consult someone who is experienced in this type of work. If all else fails, there are many reputable companies that may help for a fee. Just make sure they understand what it is exactly that you’re trying to achieve before making an appointment so they can give you advice on how best to get there and avoid wasting both time and money on unnecessary services or products that won’t accomplish anything at all because they don’t address the root cause(s) of your problem(s).

Safety Tips for Wood Burning Stoves

  • Make sure your wood-burning stove is placed on a non-flammable surface. Your flooring should be hardwood or tile rather than carpet, which can ignite and burn quickly once exposed to fire.
  • Keep your wood stove ventilated. Make sure there are no blockages to the chimney or vents. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, which has potentially fatal consequences
  • Always let a fire burn out completely before leaving it unattended
  • Never leave children unsupervised near an open flame or hot surfaces of any kind


Can I put my wood stove in a metal fireplace?

Absolutely not. A wood-burning fireplace should be fully masonry, with brick or stone walls extending to the roofline on all sides of the opening. If you have an existing prefabricated unit that fits into your space and meets code requirements, it is okay to proceed; otherwise, purchase another model. You shouldn't use your chimney flue for drafting anyway (see the previous question), so having one designed specifically for this purpose will ensure optimum efficiency and safety for both appliances.

See also
How to install a wood Stove Chimney through Wall? (User’s Guide)

How do I know if my wood stove is installed correctly?

A safe installation begins with a quality appliance, but also includes it being placed on a solid surface and connected to the chimney. Can you imagine how unstable your TV would be standing on top of an uneven, wobbly table? Don't risk having your entire house burn down because of an improperly supported fireplace insert! Make sure the unit sits flat and there are no gaps between the flooring around it that could allow heat or fire to escape from inside—something worth double-checking in any case before starting up for winter. The next thing you want to check is whether all screws attaching parts such as its legs have been tightened securely; otherwise, they might start loosening over time, creating another fire hazard.

Do I need to get my chimney cleaned?

A clean chimney is a safe chimney, so this should be done on an annual basis during the time of year when you aren't using your wood stove or fireplace. This process removes creosote buildup and other debris that could catch fire if it falls into either appliance's inner workings; as such, hiring out this task for one season might not only save you some cash but also keep your family and home safer all around! If you choose to do it yourself instead—and we highly recommend that serious DIYers at least try once just so they know what they're getting themselves into—be sure to purchase all necessary safety equipment like gloves, goggles, and a respirator with the right filter to protect your lungs.

What does my chimney need for safe operation?

If you are looking at installing or purchasing wood stove inserts, it is essential that they meet certain requirements before being installed into any home. Wood stoves are designed to burn cleanly without producing excessive fumes due to their air wash system which keeps them free from soot by forcing incoming air through jets above where fresh fuel is loaded. This jet of high-velocity gas washes the interior surfaces of the appliance while also creating turbulence that helps dissipate heat more quickly than standard models can—and fewer hot spots means fewer chances for creosote buildup! As such, these types require special flue liners to work most effectively. It is important to have a quality wood stove insert installed in your fireplace if you want to feel safe and warm during the winter months ahead. Whether this choice was made for financial reasons or because of an interest in more environmentally friendly heating, it should be up to code with all safety requirements before any fire is started within its walls. If you are having trouble finding out whether yours meets these specifications beforehand, consult an expert who can confirm that everything has been done properly; even one mistake could make homes throughout your town vulnerable!


In conclusion, a wood stove fire should be contained and not larger than it should be. The smoke coming out of the chimney is what we are looking for as well to see if everything’s running correctly or not. We would want it to smell like an outdoor campfire rather than something that smells bad outside. If you know someone who has one please check with them before continuing on your own as they may offer some insight into how their experience goes along the way!