I used to love our wood stove.
It not only kept the house warm with a heat that is like no other but the added ambiance, is just magnificent. I know there are environmental concerns but at the time it was the best we could do on the funds that we had. But I was never able to complain about the beauty and warmth our wood stove bought to our lives.
However, a poorly maintained wood stoves are much, much worse than just a wood stove or no wood stove at all.
So how do you keep wood stoves in good condition?
Check Your Wood Stoves Doors
Your stove doors are supposed to seal the heat and the wood inside completely. If your doors aren’t sealed properly, you’ll have more soot build-up as well as lower heat output.
The $10 Test
Take a dollar bill and put it into the door crack. Close the door. Now try to tug the dollar bill out.
If you can get the bill out without much friction, then you need to get that door fixed.
Clean Your Flue
Any kind of build up especially around the chimney or flue will cause issues. Your stove will burn less efficiently and produce less warmth.
But build up in the flue is much worse than that. It can be very dangerous.
If you stove is not sealed properly you can end up with gases escaping into the room and Killing. The build up can catch fire inside the flue, overheat it and even cause a secondary burn that can result in an uncontrolled burn. Trust me such burns can burn your house down or your neighbors.
It’s better not to use wood with preservative at all but wood preserving is one of the worst kind of build-ups.
If you notice your wood isn’t burning strongly or if you can’t get your wood to catch on fire at all and it’s not wet , there’s a good chance it’s build-up.
Build-up requires cleaning the chimney flue, it’s generally best handled by a professional.
Check Your Fire Bricks
Hopefully your bricks surrounding your stove and chimney, are they’re made of fire bricks. Fire bricks are special kinds of bricks designed to resist extreme heat. But even fire bricks are susceptible to wear and tear over time. Bricks that are cracked can let heat escape, resulting in lower heat output and are unsafe.
Get your bricks checked and repaired. You can easily repair fire bricks using repair cement, which you can pick up at any hardware store.
Smaller is Better
Small, hot fires maximizes your efficiency and put more heat into your room. They also have less build up than larger, slower-burning fires.
So just to sum up wood fire stoves are great but there are some things to pay attention to. Check the doors, avoid build-up, check your fire bricks and burn small, hot fires rather than large, smouldering ones.