Wood Stove Maintenance Tips In Preparation For Cold Weather Days And Nights
When winter strikes, you want to remember your wood stove once again. That's because the temperatures are cold, and wood stoves are also an excellent way of supplementing your central heating system. Furthermore, they add to the general atmosphere of your home. Just like your furnace or boiler, wood stoves also need maintenance in order to function properly and safely. Therefore, if you're looking for tips on how to boost your stove's performance, here are some suggestions to help you do that. With these tips, your stove will operate smoothly throughout the season.
Wood Stove Maintenance Tips: Should You Burn, or Should You Not Burn?
You should be aware of the fuel limitations of this type of stove. Even though some stoves can burn wood and coal, most of them are designed to operate on wood only. Never burn trash-treated wood, artificial logs, drift wood, or any other product that contains lead, sulfur, plastic or zinc. These elements damage the catalytic combustor. On the other hand, burning trash could cause chimney fires or emit harmful elements into the atmosphere.
Your safest bet is to burn seasoned wood which releases maximum heat while producing less creosote buildup and is friendly to the pocket. On the other hand, green unseasoned wood is not efficient as they contain up to 50% of moisture, which needs to be burned off before the heat is transmitted into your house.
When Cleaning Your Stove
For good results, you should follow your manufacturer's guidelines on how to clean the stove. When cleaning, you'll need to use a scraper or wire brush to wipe the internal components. You should also keep an eye on signs that may indicate damage, i.e. cracks or rust on the finish. After you do that, pay attention to the glass, which needs to be cleaned on a regular basis as well.
The longer you delay the cleaning, the harder it will be to completely get rid of tar deposits.
Chimneys, flues and Temperatures
You should install a stack thermometer on the flue of the stove which registers information about the type of gas leaving the stove. Monitoring the levels of gas is important for efficiency and pollution control purposes. Anything between 300 and 400 Fahrenheit is a thumbs-up.
You should aim at burning small but hot fires because such flames make maximum use of volatile gases while also helping you avoid problems with deteriorating air quality. Get rid of excess ashes to keep the stove's air vent clean. This increases running efficiency of the stove. In addition, it also lowers the level of oxygen needed for an efficient burning. Take note of the amount of smoke being emitted from the chimney. The less it produces smoke, the more efficient the burning process becomes.
Enhance Maintenance by Improving Your Home's Efficiency
You see, maintenance of wood stoves is directly proportional to the frequency in which they are used. So for example, if you use it once a month, it will require less maintenance compared to someone who uses theirs several times a week. Therefore, the secret is to reduce the amount of heat the escapes your house and also the amount of cold air that enters it. This way, you'll be reducing your stove's maintenance needs and also cost of heating.
If your house is not well-insulated, you should consider doing that. Your doors and windows should be corrected with weather stripping, caulking and so forth.
Even though most chimney inspections can be done by you, it is recommended that you have your chimney inspected by a professional stove dealer at least once a year. The person inspecting your stove should look for any signs of deterioration such as warping, leaks, cracks, creosote and baffle gaps on your chimney opening. You don't want to experience accidental fires as they can be extremely devastating. So to avoid them, make sure you carry out regular maintenance to reduce the risk of such fires.
When you're preparing for the cold month, it is recommended that you have your stove inspected prior to the cold season to ensure that it's working in tip-top condition.
When you know how to clean and maintain your wood stove, you should not experience any problem with it during the cold months. These tips and tricks will help your stove operate in good condition at all time, so stick to them.
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