Q. What kind of wood do I burn?
Q. How Do I start a good fire?
A. Please remember that burning dry wood (seasoned, split and stacked at least one year) whether alder, pine or fir (most common here in the islands) is best for good combustion and a clean burning stove. Dry kindling is so important to getting a hot fire started off. Some crunched newspaper, fire starter, fat wood, or dry shakes placed crisscross in the stove firebox first, then 3-4 smaller split pieces and maybe one medium log or 2 is a good way to start the fire. Adding more wood as necessary in the first 30-45 minutes is normal until the fire is hot enough to close the door and depending on the speed of the fire you may need to partially close the air control to slow the fire to the desired rate of burn (depends on how hot you want it to be).
How a person burns is important too. For the cleanest flue one has to burn a hot fire for 30-45 minutes or until a hot fire is established. Leaving the door ajar a quarter inch or so speeds the draft and the fire will increase much faster. It is fine to leave the door ajar for awhile in the beginning but just don’t leave the room until the door is shut and the air control is at your desired setting.