Operation & Maintenance

Wood Fire Operation

What to burn

Maximum load capacity:

  • No more than four large logs (not exceeding 110mm in diameter) at a time.
  • Untreated, air dried hardwood
  • Split logs with a humidity content of less than 20%

You can pick up great wood from Bunnings or most service stations. Just check the humidity content which is printed on the bag.

We recommend split wood rather than round logs as they burn better and are much easier to stack.

For more tips on wood and building the perfect fire head over to our blog.

For further information on sourcing appropriate wood for your fireplace check out the firewood association page for your country:

Firewood Association Australia

Wood Heat Association UK

What not to burn

Now we assume you won’t be inclined to use your beautiful new fireplace as an incinerator but just in case you have a guest who swears it’s fine to burn coal, here is a list of what you should never burn in your fireplace:

  • Trash
  • Painted plastic
  • Coated or preservative treated wood
  • Waste or black coal
  • Inflammable liquids
  • Fire gels
  • Moist wood with a residual humidity content of more than 20% (this may cause soothing of the chimney). Yes, this does mean that you can’t use the branch from that tree you trimmed in your garden last weekend.
Lighting a fire

What To Burn

Use dry split wood for best results. Using wet wood will result in a smoky fire that is hard to get started and gives off low heat. If you are drying your own wood keep in mind that wood only begins to dry seriously once it is split to correct size. Allow around six months for proper drying to take place. We recommend split wood rather than round logs as they burn better and are less prone to rolling away from the ember bed.

Before Lighting Your Fire

  • Check that the damper is fully open. The handle should be pointing down. The fire must be operated with the damper fully opened at all times.

Starting a Fire

You will need the following materials to build and maintain a good wood fire

  • a fire lighter or newspaper (do not use coloured or coated paper)
  • a handful of finely split, dry kindling in a variety of sizes
  • seasoned firewood split into a range of sizes.

The Most Reliable Method For Lighting Our Open Fireplaces

It is important to keep in mind that Aurora Fireplaces are open fireplaces and cannot be loaded or operated in the same way as a combustion (closed) fireplace. If you’re used to a combustion fireplace this method may take a little getting used to, however it is absolutely reliable, and when it is done properly there is almost no smoke right from the start.

The most important part of this whole process is to use dry, seasoned firewood. The fire works by having the coals and embers from the top layer fall into the layer of wood below it. If the wood is wet it won’t catch on fire and you’ll become frustrated.

  1. Place two split pieces of timber approximately 40mm thick x 300mm long on the firebox floor with the ends facing front and back. Placement with the ends facing front and back allows the air to mix well with the fuel, rather than just hitting the sides of the wood.
  2. Place a fire-lighter or one piece of scrunched up newspaper in-between them.
  3. Stack two pieces of kindling approximately 30mm thick x 300mm long on top of the bottom pieces criss crossing in the other direction.
  4. Follow this by stacking a third row of fine kindling 20mm thick x 300mm long on top, criss crossing in the other direction.
  5. Repeat step four.
  6. Light the fire lighter or paper and watch as the fire burns down through the fine kindling and the kindling into the bottom pieces of split timber.
  7. Once the timber is well alight start adding more 40mm thick pieces of timber 1 or 2 at a time, slowly increasing the timber size as the fire burns hotter.
Protecting your paint during the first burn

IMPORTANT FOR YOUR SAFETY & THE LONGEVITY OF YOUR FIRE

Your fire is delivered to you already cured in a curing oven, which greatly reduces the smoke & odours associated with the initial burn. However the paint will still continue to settle over the first few burns. Therefore it is important that you follow the initial burn instructions to maximise the life of your paint and for your own comfort and safety.

The fire’s heat-proof finish only hardens completely once the initial burn process is complete. When unpacked, it is therefore not fully hardened. It can easily be damaged at this time so care must be taken to protect the paint prior to the initial burn.  Once this initial firing process is successfully completed, the coating will bond to the metal with a colourfast finish that will last.

NOTE: During the initial firing process there are changes in the paint causing it to give off an odour and some visible smoke. The fumes can be unpleasant. Do the following BEFORE you fire the fire for the first two times:

1. Ventilate: Open doors and windows in the room with the stove. To speed dissipation of odour from the initial firing process, you can place a fan in the room to move the air.

2. Vacate: The fumes from the initial heating process are non-toxic, but may be uncomfortable for babies, small children, pregnant women, elderly, pets, or anyone with breathing difficulties.

3. Clean. Wipe down the firebox to remove any dust or fingerprints. You won’t have to do this prior to every burn once the paint is fully cured.

INITIAL FIRING PROCESS

1. Slowly build up a small to medium size fire, over a period of 45 minutes. The outside of the firebox temperature will be about 200 degrees C. The fire will measure approximately 300mm diameter. Allow the fire to die down and allow the firebox to cool.

2. Repeat this process, increasing to a medium sized fire (approximately 350mm). This will burn at around 230 to 250 degrees C. Allow the fire to die down and allow the firebox to cool again.

Your firebox paint will now be cured and any unpleasant odours will be gone.

Cooking in an aurora

Visit our cooking in your fireplace page for some delicious recipes!

Wood Fire Maintenance

Cleaning the fire

Cleaning Inside The Firebox:

Our fires are designed to achieve an efficient and complete burn.  This means that after your fire has burned down you won’t be left with lumps of debris and coal, just a clean bed of ash.

All fires burn best with a bed of ash in the bottom for insulation so we usually only clean our fire once a month. When it’s time for the task we’ve made it simple for you.

There is an ash removal tray in the bottom of the firebox which you simply push to one side and let the ash fall out (into a container of some description, not on the floor).

The grate is removable so if you wish you can take this out for cleaning too but it’s not necessary.

Cleaning The Exterior Of the Firebox & Lower Flue:

The best way to clean the firebox exterior is with water and a scratch free glass polishing cloth. Just a light spray and gentle wipe down  (don’t scrub the fire) will keep your firebox free of fingerprints and dust. For extra greasy marks WINDEX works very well, use the method above.

Never use harsh products containing any kind of paint stripper and never scrub the exterior paint.

It is very important that the firebox is completely dry before lighting a fire as water on the paint surface will leave water marks if burnt while the firebox is wet. These can only be removed by touching up the paint so care must always be taken to ensure the firebox is 100% dry prior to operation.

If you have an outdoor fireplace please see ‘cleaning an outdoor fireplace’ below.

Cleaning an Outdoor Fireplace

Our outdoor fireplaces are coated with a zinc primer to prevent rust. Extra care will ensure the longevity of your fireplace.

If you live near a beach or if your fireplace is installed near your swimming pool, your fireplace will be more prone to minerals settling on the surface of the fireplace which can damage the paint over time if care is not taken to prevent this.

Follow these guidelines for cleaning & maintaining your outdoor fireplace:

  • Your outside fireplace must be installed in an area that is covered to prevent excessive exposure to rain
  • Keep it Clean – Accumulated dirt and debris can hold moisture and allow corrosion to occur even on a dry day. Periodically wiping down the firebox and lower flue following the steps outlined on the next page can help avoid paint damage in the long run.
  • Keep it dry – never light your fireplace when the surface is wet as the minerals in the water will stain the paint. If your fireplace has been exposed to rain always wipe down your fireplace prior to use, following the steps below to remove mineral deposits from the surface of the steel. Any minerals from the rain left on the steel when it is burnt will damage the paint.

CLEANING METHOD

All cleaning and maintenance must be done when the appliance is cool.

Do NOT use oven cleaners or abrasive products as they will damage the paint.

  1. Wipe all surfaces with a mild soap with a scratch free glass polishing cloth.
  2. For stubborn marks or grease use WINDEX and a scratch free glass polishing cloth. Don’t scrub the paint. Gentle pressure only.
  3. Wipe dry with scratch free glass polishing cloth.
  4. Ensure surface is completely dry before lighting the fire.
Flue maintenance

In the interests of safety and to reduce air pollution, both the fireplace and flue must be kept clean.

Follow these guidelines from the Australian Home Heating association to keep your fire well serviced.

  • Your wood heater should be serviced once a year and you should have your flue cleaned regularly by your local chimney sweep.
  • Service your heater during Spring or early Summer. This minimises the corrosive effects of creosote residue and condensation during the off-season.
  • Check for bird nests in or near the flue system in the roof cavity.
  • If loose insulation has been added to the ceiling i.e. blow in cellulose, etc, check carefully that none has built up in the flue cavity clearance area.

To find a chimney sweep in your area visit the Home Heating Association Website.

Australian Home Heating Association

New Zealand Home Heating Association

HETAS – UK Solid Fuel Association

Troubleshooting – Wood

My fire is smoking - help! (don't worry we've got you covered)

The first step if your fire is smoking is to check you have followed the instructions in your manual & outlined above for what to burn and how to light an awesome fire. Still have a problem? Try the suggestions below and if these don’t work see below; ‘Why your installer MUST follow the steps outlined in the manual.

SMOKEY FIRE SOS

Is your damper fully open?

Our fires are open fireplaces and MUST be burnt with the damper fully open at all times. The damper is just there as a courtesy to allow you to close the flue off when the fire is not in use. So all the lovely warm air stays in the room rather than escaping up the flue.

Too Much Wood

Too much wood will at once will overload the cowl and flue system with smoke, causing smoke spillage into the room. Check the recommended load, fuel type and guidelines for building an effective fire on the previous pages of this manual.

Too Little Wood

An undersized fire will not create enough draft in the flue, allowing the smoke to spill into the room. The fire will not heat up effectively enough to circulate the convection air.

Crack a window

Fireplaces require large volumes of air to burn. This air comes from inside the living area and must somehow be replaced. With modern energy efficiency concerns, most houses have been carefully insulated and weather-stripped to keep out the cold drafts, but an undesirable side effect is that there is often nowhere for all that air leaving through the chimney to get back in. This can lead to fireplaces that burn sluggish and smoky. To counter that, open up a window a crack and sit closer to the fire.

This works best if the window is on the side of the house that the wind is blowing from. We want to push air into the fire and up the flue, not suck air out of the fire into the room.

Turn Off Exhaust Fans

When the an exhaust fan is on, air is drawn into the return vent and competes directly with the air needs of the fireplace. Air (smoke) will be pulled into the room.

Do you need a specialty cowl?

Your fire has been shipped with an anti downdraft cowl which also functions as a rain cap. This is the best type of cowl for 90% of installations. In certain situation you may require a specialised cowl designed to combat the weather and landscape/structural conditions of your installation. Contact a qualified installer for advice on the right cowl for you.

The Prevailing Wind & Topography Of the land

The slope and position of the land and surrounding buildings or trees in relation to the flue system has a bearing on how the wind will interact with fire and flue system. Wind that hits the flue system may overcome the cowl and draft back down the flue. Care must be taken to ensure that the flue termination is in the correct position to maximise performance. This is why we recommend having a professional wood fire installer install your fire if possible.

Why you MUST ensure the installer follows the steps in our manual

The feedback from installers is that our fires are very simple to install. However, there are a few key steps that must be followed in the correct order to ensure your fire both looks and performs the way it is intended.

Most installers are very meticulous and do a great job. If your installer is installing one of our fires for the first time they may not be aware of the importance of following the manual exactly.

To support you in ensuring your installer follows these steps we have included an installation checklist at the back of the installation manual. This document MUST be signed off by the installer and returned to Aurora Suspended Fires at the time of install for any warranty claims that can be linked to installation to be honoured.

You can download the install manual below. The checklist is on page 24.

Aurora User & Installation Manual, All Products

 


 

Bioethanol Fireplace Operation

Filing your bioethanol burner

We provide jerry cans, lighting rods and lighters with every burner because we want you to have the highest quality and safest experience possible when using our products. The jerry can ensures that you don’t splash ethanol when pouring or overfill the burner.

If you add the adaptor to the e-NRG bottle the Safety Spout can be connected to the bottle – only then can you use the e-NRG bottle to fill the burner. Filling from the bottle without an attached safety spout can result in serious injury.

How to light the fire

Our Instruction Manual that accompanies the fire outlines everything you need to know to operate the Bio Ethanol burner safely and efficiently. Lighting the Bio Ethanol burner is as simple as dip, ignite, dip – just follow the instructions and seconds later you can enjoy a healthy, warm flame.

Extinguishing the fire

You can turn your fire off at any given time even before the fuel has run out. It is recommended however, that you leave it to burn until it runs out. The shut off mechanism is there for security and safety for those times when you need to leave the house as it’s not safe to leave a fire unattended.

Burn time

In general 5 Litres OR 11/4 Gal of Bio Ethanol would last from 7 hours on MAX and up to 20 hours on MIN setting.

What to burn

e-NRG is the only recommended fuel for use in EcoSmart Fires and use of other fuel brands will void the warranty. We have not worked with or tested other ethanol brands in conjunction with our burners and cannot speak to their performance or safety. Other brands can also leave residue or unsightly staining, and no one wants a dirty burner.

Where to buy Bio Ethanol

You can purchase Bio Ethanol in standard packaging of 1, 2, 4 and 20 litres from Supermarkets, Hardware Stores, Petrol Stations, and Corner Shops. Contact The Fire Company for more information and ask about our fuel supply service in your area.

Some fuels are better than others, it’s important to source information on the best fuel in your area from your local retailer/distributor. Where available we recommend e-NRG USA  AUS.

storing Bio Ethanol

Ethanol is a stable liquid that is safe to store indoors as long as it is kept away from an open flame. It is also safe to be kept in garages, utility rooms or other outdoor storage areas without any risk. In accordance with various global regulations, ethanol (100% alcohol) cannot be sold in its purest form to avoid human consumption. A bittering agent is added to the formula to prevent ingestion.

Bioethanol Fireplace Maintenance

Cleaning an ecosmart burner

Cleaning of the burner should be done only after you have used 50 litres of fuel or as soon as you notice a black residue forming around or on the burner. Before starting, make sure the burner is off, empty of ethanol, and at room temperature. Spray a multi-purpose cleaner on the surface of the burner and wipe with cloth, making sure to wipe in the direction of the grain. If material has fallen into the burner use a vacuum cleaner to remove debris through the burner opening. If your burner smells unusually strong after extensive use, remove the empty and room temperature burner from its surround and wash in hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly under running water and wait until burner is completely dry before placing back into its surround and reusing.

Note: Stainless steel will rust or corrode over time if contamination or debris is not cleaned or removed immediately. When not in use, we recommend that you protect your fireplace from water damage or corrosion with a protective cover and the regular use the burner lid included with your model.

servicing your bioethanol burner

Yes, normal maintenance and care is very important! Instructions are included in the Installation, Operating and Maintenance Manual supplied with your product.

Troubleshooting – Bioethanol

I spilled some fuel. What is the safest way to clean it up?

Bioethanol can be wiped up with either a paper or cloth towel. Paper towels can be disposed of in regular trash bins. Though not toxic, it is recommended that you wash hands immediately after coming into contact with bioethanol.

 


 

Download Our Warranty

Warranty

All our fires are covered by a five-year warranty that you can download here.

Our fires are built to last and you can have faith in the long term durability of your fireplace well beyond the five-year warranty period.

Aurora Suspended Fires will of course honour any warranty claims for a product that left our workshop faulty. (This is very unlikely). However, sometimes issues you experience with the fire are due to a faulty install. That is why is is very important that your installer follows the steps outlined in the manual in the correct order.

To support you in ensuring your installer follows these steps we have included an installation checklist at the back of the installation manual. This document MUST be signed off by the installer and returned to Aurora Suspended Fires at the time of install for any warranty claims that can be linked to installation to be honoured.

5 Year Warranty

 


 

Perfect Pizza

Check out this comprehensive article on the history of wood fired pizza and tips from the masters for your next pizza masterpiece. “Taste of the great outdoors: No foodie’s garden is complete without a wood-fired pizza oven!”

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Preparing your oven

Our ovens will make great pizza for years to come but it is very important that your fire has been burnt in first to ensure the paint is completely cured. Download the complete instructions for the initial burn here.

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How to cook In an Aurora

This method has been perfected over many Friday afternoon staff drinks & pizza’s here at Aurora.
Step 1: Get a big fire going and allow the firebox to heat right up.
Step 2: Put your pizza stone…

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Firewood Preperation – step-by-step guide

Burning wet wood is one of the common barriers to pleasurable, efficient wood heating for a host of reasons. Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of wet wood to enjoy a smoke free fire thats easy to light and stay alight.

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How to build and maintain a wood fire

Whatever your wood burning system, you can improve its efficiency and reduce air pollution by learning to burn correctly. The knowledge and skills needed to operate a wood burning system effectively need to be learned and practiced to get them right.

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