Like many household appliances the more care and attention you give them the longer they last, and a wood-burning stove is no different. With proper and regular maintenance you can give your stove a long and happy life while allowing you to get the most out of it.
Here are a few tips to help keep your wood-burning stove in good working order.
Burning the correct firewood
Burning wet logs produce a heavy smoke that condenses onto the cooler sides of the flue or chimney, producing tar and acidic residues that cause thick deposits to build up. This is a major cause of chimney fires and these compounds also cause damage to the stove and flue. Burning ready to burn certified firewood will ensure this does not happen.
Clean the glass
Use damp crumpled newspaper or a paper towel, dip it in ash and use this to clean wood stove glass. This method works most of the time. If the glass has a lot of build-ups, try burning a couple of high temperature fires in the woodstove before attempting to clean the glass.
Empty the ashpan
Remember to empty the ashpan on a regular basis, and don't allow it to overflow. If the ash in the pan gets too close to the grate, it can block the flow of air to the grate, causing it to become too hot and possibly warp or become damaged
Check for rust
A problem that probably won’t occur very often with modern stoves, but just in case you do see any rust it is better to act quickly to nip it in the bud. You can use wire wool to rub the rusted area then just re-apply the stove paint to get your stove looking in tip-top condition.
Check rope seals
Stoves come equipped with specialist heat resistant fire rope around the door of the stove. This forms a seal and prevents excess air from getting into the stove, and also ensures the door is closed properly. With general wear and tear, this rope can become worn
Clean the baffle/throat plate
It is common for soot and other waste to gather on or around the throat plate. This can make your stove less efficient than it should be as it blocks the flue. These are flammable materials and they can pose a fire risk, so it is also potentially dangerous. You can prevent this from happening by ideally cleaning the baffle plate once a week.
Leave the door ajar when out of use
If your stoves going to be out of action for more than a few days (summer months for example), leave the door slightly open. This can help stop corrosion as it allows air to flow through the system.
Have the chimney swept bi-annually
After a lot of use creosote and other waste materials can build-up in your chimney and can potentially cause a chimney fire. Getting in touch with a chimney sweep at least twice a year will prevent this from happening and will improve the overall efficiency of your wood-burning stove.