Starting Your Stove
Tips for Starting a Hand-Fired Anthracite Coal Stove
Being sure the draft control and flue damper are fully open, light the paper just inside the door, then close the loading door and allow the kindling to catch fire. This will not only start the kindling but will also warm the chimney starting the draft you need for good operation.
After a few minutes, open the loading door an inch or two for a few seconds before opening completely. This will allow smoke to clear away from the door opening before the loading door is completely opened.
Add small pieces of hardwood when the kindling is burning hot. Keep the draft controls fully open to establish a hot fire quickly. The ash door may also be opened during start-up to accelerate the initial burn.
When a substantial bed of red wood coals is built up, start adding small amounts of coal at the rate of one or two small shovelfuls at a time. The draft control is still open.
Continue adding small amounts of coal until there is a solid bed of burning coal. Do not add too much at one time. Allow sufficient time between each small loading (at least 5-10 minutes) so that each loading has time to ignite thoroughly before adding more coal.
When a substantial bed of burning coals 3" deep has been established, fill the stove to the top of the firebrick. Remember, the coals must be deep and hot to establish a good fire. A deep bed of coal will always burn more satisfactorily than a shallow bed.
When most of the wood is burned and the coal is completely ignited, the draft control should be turned down to the proper operating level. If the ash door has been opened, it must be closed to prevent over-firing, which will cause dangerously high temperatures and damage to the stove.
Remember: With the exception of the start-up period, the ash pit door should never be left open. A stove should also never be left unattended with the door open.
Don't be afraid to use lots of kindling to build a deep bed of coals as coal is much denser than wood, so the temperature needs to be hotter to ignite the coal initially (approximately 900 degrees for anthracite).