Installing a wood burning stove or fire in your house can become a feature and also create much needed heat when the weather is cold outside. Just like their gas or electric counterparts, wood burning stoves need general maintenance and cleaning to be able to run correctly, burn efficiently and keep you not only warm but also safe. Using our handy wood stove maintenance guide should help you keep your wood stove in tip top condition for many years to come.

Learn to care for your wood stove correctly

Many but not all wood stoves are designed for burning both wood and coal. It is imperative that you first check what your stove can burn and if possible refer to the manufacturer’s original instructions. Do not be tempted to burn anything other than fuel recommended for your type of wood stove, you should never burn any rubbish, plastics or similar as not only can this damage your wood stove they can produce toxic gases. Seasoned wood that has been allowed to dry for at least one year is the best  thing to use in your wood stove as it will burn hot, slow and cleanly. Wood that is not seasoned will have a higher moisture content, burns slower and can create a creosote build-up in your flue and chimney. Learn how to dry firewood on wikiHow.

Maintaining the flue and chimney

Keeping any flue pipes and chimneys clean is imperative to having your wood stove work correctly. Not only is creosote build-up responsible for many chimney fires but it also can stop your wood stove from working at its best. For optimum results your chimney should be swept twice yearly and any flue pipes cleaned once a week. A stiff round wire brush is ideal for cleaning the flue pipes and will easily remove any deposits that have formed there. If your chimney stack is not solid, leaks or has a poor draw you can use a flexible chimney flue liner to re-line your existing chimney.

Improve your wood stove’s efficiency

Learning how to correctly lay a fire in your wood stove is an art, but can in turn ensure that your wood stove burns more efficiently. Small hot fires are best for maintaining heat and the creation of less gases and soot. Check the smoke coming from your chimney as the less smoke that can be seen means that your wood stove is burning cleanly. If there is any doubt about how well your wood stove is working call in a professional to check for potential problems and solve them before they spoil your enjoyment of having a wood stove. Learn how to build a fire in your wood stove on do it yourself.

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