It's a question we get a lot - how do I look after my stove, do I need special tools or equipment, and how do I keep it running safely and efficiently?
Once you purchase a wood stove, it is your responsibility to ensure it operates securely, burns cleanly, and endures for a long time. Unfortunately, many stove owners are not aware of the essential conditions needed to keep everything in functioning order.
You as the homeowner can manage most of the daily maintenance, but some of the more complicated upkeep will need professional assistance.
Once you get used to them, most of these are simple. Before doing any of the following, be sure the stove is cool and has no burning coals.
Section 1: Daily / weekly / monthly maintenance, chimney sweeping and stove servicing.
Removing the ash should be done frequently. This should seem apparent, but it's frequently disregarded, and the old adage that says to add a little ash to the fire bed when burning wood is frequently misused.
Check the smoothness of all the controls on a regular basis.
Every month, inspect firebricks for cracks.
Use only wood that has been seasoned or kiln-dried.
A firebox-appropriate size of wood.
Burning wood that is of poor quality or has a lot of water could harm the device and liner, possibly start a chimney fire, and be very harmful to our air quality.
The baffle plate should be taken off each month, and the flue passage should be examined for soot accumulation and any blockages. Calling a skilled chimney sweep right away is the next step if either exist. If you are unsure about how to remove and replace the baffle, ask a professional to show you how or even take care of it for you.
Clean the glass. You cannot judge how well your fire is burning if you cannot see the flames. Keep in mind that the ideal combustion is mild flame combustion.
Planning routine expert maintenance from a licensed industry specialist is the final component of personal maintenance.
Section 2: Chimney Sweeping
For the appliance to operate correctly and safely, the chimney must be swept.
In our opinion, only licensed specialists should clean chimneys. The occupation of chimney sweeping necessitates extensive training and equipment.
All chimneys should, at the very least, be swept annually, according to general consensus. Depending on use, safety considerations, and soot buildup, some chimneys need to be swept twice a year, while others need to be done even more frequently. A qualified chimney sweep will also offer crucial guidance and confirm with you the frequency of sweeping that is necessary for your usage, which will be supported by a formal sweeping certificate.
To ensure the safe release of flue gases to the outside air and to safeguard the user from potential dangers or property damage, the sweep must smoke test the device after cleaning the flue.
Other safety-related issues that should be examined throughout your sweep include ventilation, the distance between combustibles, fuel storage, carbon monoxide alarms, and many other similar things.
Section 3: Solid Fuel Servicing
When individuals buy stoves and other comparable appliances, solid fuel servicing is frequently an unknowable variable. Yes, many stoves can endure a very long time, but their internal parts frequently fail.
The internal stones and grates of an appliance are made to withstand the rigours of operation, yet they occasionally deteriorate, wear out, or shatter. Rope seals will eventually need to be replaced as a result of constant door opening and closing.
Door glass can break, but it more frequently gets scratched or milky with usage and fixing it is more difficult than repairing the glass in a home window. The glass used in stoves is frequently clear pyro ceramic, which is fixed in place using heat-resistant fasteners and sealed with a fibreglass rope that is specifically sized. To avoid early failure, it has been properly treated and pre-cut with bevelled or smooth edges.
Over time, controls and hinges may become seized or lost. Even castings can crack.
A qualified chimney sweep or HETAS-authorised installation who is also skilled in service and maintenance is the best choice for solid fuel servicing. Although persons who possess the H003 will frequently also be qualified to perform this work, the HETAS H009 is the de facto qualification in the UK for this type of work.
Since there are so many equipment types to service, experience is crucial because only time and practice can provide knowledge.
There are many factors to consider once your new fire is installed, but upkeep and maintenance can be a breeze with the Living Fire Centre. Our engineers are HETAS-approved, and here to help with your regular servicing, upkeep and any post-purchase issues you may find.