One of the responsibilities of owning a wood burning stove is to keep it well maintained so that it will perform at its best. Not only will you enjoy greater efficiency, but you can also rest assured that your stove will be safer to operate.
Some of our customers prefer to hire a professional to carry out maintenance tasks and checks on their stoves. However, if you prefer to do your own maintenance, here’s what you need to look for:
It’s critical to good safety that a chimney is swept once a year. Ideally, it will be twice. This will stop any tar and soot from building up. The chimney should also be checked to see if it has any cracks that is leaking smoke or gas. Smoke pellets can be purchased to help with this task.
If the chimney is lined, then it will perform better. Insulation will prevent gases from leaking into the house and it will also ensure that they are still hot enough to rise and do not contribute to further development of tar.
When you investigate the condition of your chimney, you’ll need to look for deposits of tar. They are highly flammable and therefore need to be removed. The best way to avoid tar from building up is to only use wood that has been well seasoned. It’s advisable to not allow the fire to smoulder.
Finally, check the chimney for dead birds, bird nests, bats and any debris.
You will also need to check the flue for tar. This includes all of it – whether it’s inside the wall or ceiling and where it extends into the chimney.
Check whether the door is airtight. This will make for a better performance you won’t get a smoky smell in your room. If there is a gap then you may need to replace the seal or gasket. If for any reason the glass in the door is not in good condition, it’s possible to replace it. It’s designed to withstand heat but it may get damaged in another way.
You should also check for cracked or damaged firebricks. If they are damaged in any way, it’s recommended that you replace them. Also check the condition of your fire grate at the bottom of the firebox.
To find out more about wood burning stove maintenance, check our other fireplace blog posts.