Should Log Burner Vents Be Open or Closed?

Woodstove with open vents

Make sure that the vents of the stove are fully open while lighting the fire, this is necessary to ensure maximum oxygen supply to the fire. You can control the fire by limiting this oxygen supply, to either get a longer burning fire or the highest heat. Close the vents as you are about to put out the fire.

Using a wood burning stove can be quite confusing, especially if you are not used to operating it. There are a lot of different things which need to be kept in mind, for example, it is important to know how to operate the vents to keep the fire going. Let’s take a look at how to operate a wood burning stove and all the things you need to keep in mind.

How to use the vents to control your fire?- Wood burner vents explained

The vents in any fireplace or stove are used to regulate the oxygen or airflow into the fire. Fully open vents are important during the beginning of the fire so that the maximum amount of oxygen is available in the beginning.

But once the fire has started, you will have to regulate the airflow so that the firewood is burning with the most efficiency. If you close the vents completely, there will be no airflow and you will be left with a smoldering fire.

Different fireplaces have different methods of operating air vents. Usually, you will see a lever with clear signs relating to which way the vents will be closed or opened.

The higher the level of oxygen, the more heat will be produced but the fire won’t last as long and vice versa.

How to operate a wood burning stove?

Logs of wood burning inside a opened wood stove

The first thing you need to do is to heat up the flue of the stove.

This will get rid of any cold air stuck inside the chimney which will let the gases exit the fireplace through it and supply fresh oxygen to the fireplace as well. You can also open the doors of the stove to make the flue and the stove room temperature. This will also get the draft going in the stove.

Once this is done, make sure that the vents are fully open before lighting the fire. The air vents will determine how much oxygen is being supplied to the fireplace and this can in turn regulate the fire as well.

While starting the fire, curl some newspaper or only use dry kindling as a firestarter and place it in the grate. On top of the paper, add the kindling and stack them in a criss-cross pattern to maximize efficiency and airflow. Once this is done, add a couple of firewood logs that are not too big. Don’t place the logs too close to one another.

Light the Firestarter, in this case, the newspaper on fire which will in turn light the kindling on fire and so on. Once the logs catch fire, slowly add more logs and be patient.

You can open the doors of the stove, in the beginning, to help the fire get started but don’t keep it open for long.

Once the logs are on fire, you can close the vents a little bit to control the fire. And as you want the fire to be extinguished, close the vents completely to deprive the fire of any oxygen.


You can control the flow of oxygen to the fire by opening or closing the vent. Always keep the vent open during lighting the fire and close them as you are putting it out. You can increase the heat output by opening the vents and prolong the burn time by keeping them partially open.

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