How to Extend the Life of Your Wood Stove
Modern wood stoves are highly efficient and will help you cut heating costs in winter. You can enjoy the investment you made in a wood stove much longer if you give the appliance needed care and attention. It’s the same as with other household appliances. The better you maintain it, the better it will serve you. The following are tips that will help you extend the life of your wood stove.
Wood stoves should always be professionally installed. Professional installation of a wood stove is crucial to:
- Proper operation, and possibly
- Insurance coverage
Having wood fires in your home can be a major safety hazard, if your appliance is not installed by someone who knows what they’re doing. For instance, a professional understands the importance of protecting combustible parts of the home from heat produced by wood stoves. When combustible materials are too close to high temperatures, pyrolysis can occur over time. Pyrolysis means the materials nearby lose all of their moisture and become more and more susceptible to catching fire and burning rapidly.
A professional will also ensure optimal operation of your wood-burning appliance by installing all components properly. When a stove operates as intended, there is no undue stress on one part as compared to others, and the wood stove will be useful longer.
Experts in wood stove installation understand building code requirements and the importance of consulting manufacturer’s instructions. If something goes wrong with a wood stove and it was not installed by a professional, homeowner’s insurance is not likely to cover the damage.
Empty the Ashes
Wood stoves usually have an ashpan, which makes collection and disposal of ashes easy. Routinely empty the ashpan. If your stove doesn’t have one, remove the ashes before buildup in the firebox reaches the grate, to make sure fires can get needed air.
Clean the Glass
Clean the glass on your wood stove routinely. Wood stoves usually have an air wash system that keeps the glass clean. This is a feature to look for when preparing to buy a wood stove. If your stove isn’t equipped with air wash, follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the glass. A special cleaning product may be recommended.
Avoid Smoldering Fires
Modern wood stoves are highly efficient, but optimal operation depends upon having fires of the correct size. Don’t over-fire your stove but it’s also very important to avoid smoldering fires. Complete combustion can’t be achieved with a low-burning fire. Creosote buildup increases significantly when combustion is incomplete. To promote hot fires, split wood into fairly small pieces that fit well inside your wood stove.
Only Burn Seasoned Firewood
Firewood is packed with moisture when first cut. Green firewood should never be burned in a wood stove. Green wood smokes excessively and leaves large amounts of creosote in the chimney. Dry out firewood for six months to a year or more before burning it. You can get devices that indicate the moisture level in logs. The moisture percentage should be around 12% or less.
Contact Dubuque Fireplace & Patio
For help with wood stove sales, professional wood stove installation, and wood stove care and maintenance, contact the certified chimney sweeps at Dubuque Fireplace & Patio. An annual inspection and cleaning can help to increase the longevity of your wood stove. Contact us today. Details are below.
Dubuque Fireplace & Patio
925 Century Drive, Dubuque, Iowa
Phone – (563) 582-5156
Chimney Specialists Inc.
869 Main Street, Highland, WI
Phone – (608) 929-4887 / Toll Free (800) 395-6660