If you’ve been using your stove this winter, you’ll doubtless have been on the receiving end of some wonderful hearth warming moments and enjoying some seriously good heat. Over the next few weeks, the time will be right to give your wood burning or multi-fuel stove a good maintenance check up. Here’s just some of our top tips to ensure you make the most of your wood burning stove’s downtime.
If, like the thousands of woodburning stove owners across the UK, you’ve been enjoying your stove to its fullest this winter, you’ll doubtless have been on the receiving end of some wonderful hearth warming moments and enjoying some seriously good heat.
Now the weather is, hopefully, beginning to warm up a bit throughout Spring, you’ll probably be using your stove less, especially moving into Summer.
So, over the next few weeks, the time will be right to give your wood burning or multi-fuel stove a good maintenance check up. This will identify if any potential issues have occurred during its winter months of good service and allow plenty of time to put right.
Here’s just some of our top tips to ensure you make the most of your wood burning stove’s downtime.
One of the first things to do is thoroughly clean the inside of the firebox. When the stove is completely cool, start with removing all the excess ash using a dustpan and brush, then disposing safely.
Once removed, use a vacuum cleaner to really get the last of it all out. Using a brush head attachment can be particulary useful to get into all the nooks and crannies inside and also to clean in and around the grate.
If you’re not keen on getting your new Dyson filled with ash and debris, Stovax offer a Motorised Ashclean.
Plugged in and used in the same way as any vacuum cleaner, the Ashclean is a hard-wearing tool that is specifically designed for the job, and will keep any contents safely inside until you come to empty it.
When the firebox is free of ash and debris, this is a good opportunity to remove any soot build up from the firebricks. A soft brush is good for this and will leave your firebricks looking clean and ready to go. Get inside again with your vacuum or Ashclean to hoover up any leftover debris that you’ve removed.
After the clean up, check the firebricks for any damage. While everyday wear and tear is common, check for any chips or cracks that may have occurred. While small chips or cracks can be repaired using some Stovax Fire Cement, firebricks that are broken or have large cracks will need replacing.
Replacement firebricks are easily available through your local retailer or bought directly through the Stovax spare parts website, www.stovaxspares.com.
Now the inside of your stove has been cleaned and checked over, you can start to look at the door. Check the door glass for signs of damage by removing it from the door and cleaning thoroughly with some Stovax Glass Cleaner. This will remove any soot and tar build up that has occurred and leave it looking sparkling clean (some elbow grease may be required here! Please note however, that there are two types of glass cleaner: one for printed stove glass and one for plain door glass. Please ensure you use the correct option for your stove glass).
If your door glass has cracked, it will need replacing, but if your glass is still in good order, once clean, it can be put back into the door. This is a good opportunity to check your door rope seal as well. Rope seals can become worn and/or loose over time. If this happens, then smoke can seep through and out into your room.
A good way to test your rope seal is to take a piece of paper and shut it in the stove door. The seal between the door and stove body should be tight enough that the paper will not move when pulled and the door is closed.
If there is any movement and the paper can be moved or slid out completely, then you should either re-glue the rope seal using Stovax Thermic Rope Seal or replace the rope seal altogether with new rope.
If this needs to be done, there is a useful video on stovax.tv which explains exactly how to do it.
The spring is also a great time to have a professional chimney sweep look at your chimney. Using a certified sweep from the NACS website, they will thoroughly inspect your chimney stack and flue before undertaking a good clean with rods and brushes.
There’s no need to panic about lots of debris, soot and dust tumbling into your living room either. All NACS registered chimney sweeps will use appropriate protection to keep mess and disruption to a minimum before they make a start.
They will also identify any potential hazards or repair requirements in your chimney or flue. Any recommendations made will be put in writing for you to act on.
Once the sweep has finished, you’ll receive an Industry Standard Certificate of Chimney Sweeping that should be kept for your records.
If you have any kind of wood burning or multi-fuel appliance in your home, you must fit both a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm. These should be checked and tested regularly to ensure they are working correctly.
You should already have a smoke alarm fitted in your home as a matter of course, but it is advisable to install a carbon monoxide alarm as well, as this will detect any odourless, and potentially lethal, gasses that may be leaking into your home.
Stovax provide a quality carbon monoxide detector that is available from your Stovax retailer.
Though this list of stove spring cleaning tasks is by no means exhaustive, they do make for a good start to prolonging the life of your stove, allowing you to enjoy your stove for many years to come.
To see the full Stovax range of care and maintenance products available, simply visit the Stovax Accessories page. For any further information, use our Find A Retailer function to find your nearest retailer who will be happy to help you further.