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Wood Stove Maintenance

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Caring For Your Wood Stove

Wood stoves have come a long way in the modern age — not only are the EPA-certified stoves on the market today incredibly efficient and easy to use, they’re about as aesthetically varied as the imagination can make them, from traditional and classic cast-iron to clean and modern steel units. And more efficiency means less smoke and less creosote, and less mess.

Stoves are still great zone heaters, and they still make any room they’re in look and feel a lot more cozy. At Magic Sweep, we love installing new wood stoves into our clients’ homes, because they truly do offer a whole lot in exchange for relatively minimal attention.

Stoves do, however, require a certain amount of care and maintenance to stay working their best. With Magic Sweep’s help, though, caring for your wood stove can be a breeze.

Annual Maintenance Is Key

We say this again and again, but it still bears repeating: The most important part of caring for your heating appliance is your annual maintenance. That means an inspection and chimney sweeping.

At a chimney sweeping appointment, Magic Sweep techs can get rid of the creosote (and, potentially, debris) that’s built up in your flue, minimize the chance of a fire hazard and maintain your chimney’s peak performance.

During an inspection, we can make sure everything in your system is working properly — from the stove’s door all the way up the chimney — so that you’re not surprised by a leak, smoke, or even a chimney fire.

It is critical to have annual inspections for your chimney. Otherwise, you are courting risk.

It is critical to have annual inspections for your chimney. Otherwise, you are courting risk.

Specifically, here’s what we’ll check — and replace, if needed — on your wood stove:

– We check all gaskets (doors, door glass, ash pans) to make sure they’re not damaged, and still achieve a proper seal.

– We check seams on cast iron stoves to make sure panel joints aren’t allowing for leakage, and reseal if necessary.

– We check glass doors for any cracks or chips that could lead to leaks or breakage.

– We check for warped interior metal parts, and replace if necessary.

And A Little Routine Cleaning

Regular removal of ash is important when you’re using a wood-burning stove, since the ash can build up to the point where it smothers your fire, or worse, creates a fire hazard. How often you clean out the ash will depend on how much you’re using the stove, but if you’re using it pretty regularly, once a week is a good rule of thumb. (If ash is building up to the point where you can only fit a few pieces of wood into the firebox, clean it more often.)

To clean out the ash, wait until embers have completely gone out, and use a metal shovel to scoop the ash into a metal bucket (but take care to be steady, since flying ash can be a pain). Leave a bed of ash at the bottom of the firebox — it’ll help create a better burn. If you don’t have the right tools, Magic Sweep sells a variety of great tool sets.

When necessary, use wood stove glass cleaner to clean soot and grime from your glass stove doors. If your stove has a catalytic combustor, you can use a clean brush to remove ash and soot.

If you have any questions about the proper care of your wood stove, Magic Sweep is always here to help. Just give us a call! http://magic-sweep.com/contact-us/