log burning

Why is my log burner smoking when lighting?

Are you having issues with your log burner? Is smoke coming into your room when you light the log burner? There is likely a straightforward solution to overcome the problem.

There could be many reasons for smoke coming back into your room, including fuel or chimney faults, however, in our experience the most common is the flue not being hot enough to overcome pockets of cold air that can occur in a flue.

As the temperature drops during this time of year, cold air can sometimes become trapped in the flue. If the rising smoke hits a cold pocket, it can sometimes be forced back down, essentially making your flue system work in reverse.

Here is a quick guide to help you solve this particular issue.

First of all, make sure you have any air controls fully open.

Stack your kindling high in a Jenga game fashion. We usually would place firelighters at the bottom of the kindling stack, however, instead of putting your firelighters at the bottom of the stack, rest them on top of the kindling stack.

By igniting these higher up, you will warm the flue quicker, and start drawing the hot air and smoke up the chimney. 

To get the fire going faster, you can leave the door slightly ajar for a few minutes; this will force more air into the flue, creating a better draw.

As the firelighters burn they may drop down to the bottom of the kindling tower, don’t worry, this is fine.

If this has worked, then your kindling should start burning nicely and without any further problems.

If you are still having problems, then it may be best to speak with an experienced and qualified installer or arrange a chimney inspection with a local reputable chimney sweep.

Top Tip

To help in the future, you should leave your log burner air vents open when not in use so that there is always air movement within the chimney, and this can help prevent any air blockages.

starting a log burner

1. Kindling Tower with firelights placed at the top.

kindling burning wood burner

2. Kindling tower burning well after 5 minutes