Stove Maintenance

A stove is like any piece of engineering, regular maintenance will ensure good performance and a long life. Below are a few tips to keep your stove in good condition.

Stove Maintenance

Follow the instructions for the amount of fuel your stove should be loaded with. If too much fuel is put into a stove it will run at higher temperatures (over firing) that it is not designed for. This will damage components of the stove which will affect the performance and the life of the stove. The use of a stove thermometer will ensure the stove is not over fired.

In order to burn cleanly, efficiently, and without smoke, firewood needs to be dried. Burning wet wood releases large quantities of smoke, creosote, and CO2 but get rid of the moisture and you’ll get an incredibly eco-friendly source of energy. The wood you find in living trees contains large amounts of water. When talking about firewood, moisture is measured by weight in relation to dry wood. Depending on the species, a freshly cut log may contain between as low as 55% and as high as 120% moisture. This means that, in some cases, there can be more water mass than actual wood mass in a freshly cut log. Ideally, the moisture content of firewood should be under 20%, meaning that for every kilogram of dry wood mass there can be only 200 grams of moisture. Getting to such high dryness levels is no easy feat. There are two practical ways this can be achieved by air-drying or by “baking” it in a special oven. Consequently, there are two main types of firewood you can encounter on the UK market seasoned and kiln dried firewood

If hot ashes build up in the ashpan and come into contact with the lower side of the grate, the grate will be sitting in hot ashes which may cause it to distort and lose shape. Empty your ashes every day to avoid this.

Most stoves are fitted with an airwash system to keep the glass clean. If yours isn’t, clean your glass with a specialist cleaning product made for use on stoves or by using newspaper dipped in malt vinegar. Staining may occur if a log or fuel fall forward against the glass and it is allowed burn with the flame impinging on the glass. Under no circumstances should you use an abrasive product to clean the glass. This will cause permanent damage.

Clean out the firebox and check that the firebricks are not broken.

The stove is finished with high temperature paint which will withstand temperatures encountered in normal use. If looked after and installed properly the stove will not rust. If rust appears on the stove, it is usually because the stove has been exposed to moisture, possibly from the chimney. Any signs of rust should be repaired as soon as possible, by removing the rust with wire wool and respraying the stove with high temperature paint.

The area on and around the baffle/ throat plate is where soot and other deposits gather. This not only makes your stove less efficient by blocking the flue, it is also potentially dangerous. These are flammable materials. Prevent this by cleaning the throat plate regularly.

Stoves have a specialist rope seal around the door. This heat resistant rope forms a seal around the door to ensure it closes properly and to prevent excess air from getting into the stove. Over time the rope can become worn or squashed, letting in air and making your stove inefficient. You can check this every month or so, both visually and by trapping a thin piece of paper in the door. If the paper can be pulled out easily, the rope needs to be replaced.

At least once a year your chimney should be swept, which is a vital part of your stove maintenance. Failing to do so can lead to a build up of creosote throughout the system and a subsequent risk of chimney fires. It also reduces the efficiency of your stove, which brings additional problems.

If the stove is not being used for a period time, longer than a few days, leave the air slides open and the door slightly open. This allows a flow of air through the system, which helps to stop corrosion.

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