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Ready, steady ... fire

There are great advantages associated with using wood as fuel.

As a natural product created by the energy of the sun, wood is an ecologically sound source of energy. Wood burning is carbon dioxide neutral, which means that wood produces the same amount of carbon dioxide when left to rot as it does as when used to warm your home. The only caveat is that the wood be burnt right, which is a promise RAIS makes to you. However, coke, oil and gas contribute to the dangerous greenhouse effect as they produce more carbon dioxide when burnt to produce the same energy as firewood.

Wood is a replenishable energy source, unlike coal and other gaseous fuel, and is available in vast amounts today thanks to various reforestation programs enforced around the world.

Firewood must be dry for efficient burning. The burning of damp wood is harmful to the environment, the stove, the chimney, and your enjoyment of your wood-burning stove.


Good combustion requires good heat and the art is to establish as high a temperature in the stove as possible. High temperatures produce clean combustion, a clear yellow flame without soot, optimal burning and energy utilization of the firewood.


Six good tips for lighting a fire with wood

  • Firewood must be dry when used for lighting a fire as damp wood when burnt releases unclean smoke and covers the glass door of the stove with soot. The water content of wood must be between 15-20% only. If there is more water than that the stove does not burn the wood effectively or efficiently.

  • The stove must be heated quickly with sufficient kindling as this raises the temperature within the firebox leading to clean combustion. The correct lighting of fire also ensures that the stove reaches a good working temperature quickly. Please study the manual that comes with your RAIS stove to understand how your stove's advanced combustion system works and how you can light a fire quickly and effectively.

  • Logs that are too large must not be used for burning as there must be air between the wood and the walls of the firebox for proper burning. Air in the firebox ensures that the wood can be heated and burnt at the same time. For most RAIS stoves firewood logs must not be longer than 30-33 cm, and should not be thicker than 6-8 cm.

  • There must not be too much firewood in the firebox as this hampers proper combustion. When wood is heated it gives out gasses, which requires air to be burnt and add to the flame in your stove. If there is too much firewood in the stove it hinders the optimal air supply. In which case the gasses do not burn and flow out of the chimney as smoke. When combustion is optimal one can hardly smell or see smoke come out of the chimney.

  • Firewood is best bought early and is most effective when stored properly. Wood requires time to dry and it takes about two years for wood after it has been cut to dry correctly. Since smaller pieces of wood dry faster than larger ones, wood must be stored after it is chopped in the appropriate size for your stove. Wood must be stored in a place with air and sun where it is protected from rain. Avoid covering the wood with plastic as this does not let the wood dry by keeping the humidity within. Also, it is not advisable to store wood indoors as there is a risk that the wood may rot due to insufficient ventilation.


  • Take the firewood inside your home two to three days before using it to shock-dry the surface of the wood. It is also a good idea to shake the wood and knock it against something hard before bringing it inside your home to keep the bugs and insects on the wood outside.
Rais - Advice of firing  a stove


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