If you already have your own wood-burning stove, you surely want it to last for many, many years. It can be done easily! All you have to do is to maintain your stove properly and look after it. Especially for you, we have prepared a short and concise guide on how to take proper care of your stove. We present to you the best wood-burning stove maintenance tips we know. Enjoy reading!
The best maintenance and care tips for wood-burning stoves
As you can guess, our tips are mainly about cleaning, checking, servicing, and making sure that everything’s okay. These include – sweeping the chimney, emptying the ash pan (or replacing if necessary), burning the right wood, getting rid of possible rust, and sealing potential gaps.
Sweep the chimney
Sweeping the chimney is one of the most important things you need to do in order to maintain your stove in optimum condition. Why? Because you need to get rid of creosote and soot from fires. Soot build-up is dangerous, as it increases the risk of chimney fires. You should sweep the chimney of your stove once a year or even more often, if the creosote build-up is thick (1/8 inch thick).
Remember not to sweep the chimney without protective gear! Soot and dust can be harmful to your health. It’s not worth the risk. Also, don’t hesitate to ask a professional to thoroughly check if everything is fine with your chimney once in a while. Regular servicing will keep your stove in good condition! A professional chimney sweep should check ventilation, fuel storage, distances to combustibles and carbon monoxide alarms.
Clean the outside of the stove
Both the inside and outside of your stove require cleaning. When it comes to the outside, you can easily clean it with any soft brush and a standard hoover. You shouldn’t have any problem with removing traces of ash or dust. Through this practice, you can protect your stove. Do your best not to let any build-up damage on your stove’s exterior or your flooring. Remember not to use a damp cloth, which can cause rust to form! A dry cloth is the best option.
Empty the ash pan regularly
The stove in your house is probably used daily, especially during the cold, winter months. It gives you warmth and creates cosiness. However, you need to take good care of the ash when it’s in constant use. That’s why our advice is to empty the ash pan every single day. Don’t let hot ashes distort the shape of the grate sitting. What’s more, a good practice is to replace the ash pan when it gets too worn out.
Use seasoned wood
Using seasoned wood which has been dried for at least half a year is the most reasonable solution. It generates much less creosote and soot than greenwood. Generally, it’s worth using hardwoods instead of softwoods. We recommend burning oak, hickory, alder hardwoods as well as fruitwoods such as apple, plum, cherry, or apricot. They have plenty of benefits, but one of the most significant ones is their heat efficiency – they deliver a lot of heat.
Clean the glass
Keeping the stove glass clean is a must. There are many modern stoves with air wash systems, thanks to which the glass is clean all the time. It can be said that the glass cleans itself. However, older models of stoves usually aren’t fitted with an air wash system, you need to clean the glass daily by yourself with special products intended for cleaning stoves. We strongly recommend using a stove glass cleaner that can remove soot, tar, grease and burnt marks on stoves’ glass surfaces.
Another option is cleaning the glass with the use of a newspaper dipped in malt vinegar. You can also clean the glass with diluted ammonia using a rag and a spray bottle. Remember not to use “random” abrasive cleaning products that can completely damage your stove.
Reapply stove paint on rusted areas
This probably won’t be the problem of a modern stove; however, it’s worth mentioning that there is a risk of rust. If you notice any rust on your wood-burning stove, try to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Try rubbing the rusted area with wire wool at first. Then, you ought to reapply stove paint. This will make the stove look as good as new.
Seal any gaps
Over time, some gaps between panels may appear. They are problematic, as they leak heat and reduce output so, as a result, they increase fuel bills. If you notice any gaps, seal them with fire cement as fast as possible.
Wood-burning stove maintenance – Summary
Keeping your wood-burning stove in a good condition is possible and, despite appearances, it’s not that hard and time-consuming. It’s a matter of implementing a few tips. Sweep your chimney. Ask a professional to check everything. Clean your stove with a dry cloth. Empty the ash pan regularly. Burn seasoned woods, hardwoods, and fruitwoods. Clean the stove glass with a special stove glass cleaner. Remove the rust. Seal gaps and don’t let them leak heat. This will help you maintain your stove in the most proper way!