Extend the Life of Your Wood Stove with These Pro Tips
Modern wood stoves are stylish and efficient, and they can last a very long time. A wood stove is not as durable as a masonry fireplace, however. A common issue that owners experience is ultimately not finding any available replacement parts, as a wood stove ages and begins to wear out. Professionals in the hearth and heating industry have some tips for homeowners on how to prolong the life of a wood stove, and they include the following.
Don’t Over-Fire the Stove
Keeping the stovepipe or chimney flue clean is a concern, and some wood stove owners make the misstep of trying to burn out creosote with an overly hot fire. It is extremely dangerous to operate a wood stove at excessive temperatures above the range suggested by the manufacturer. According to experts, for creosote to burn out of a stovepipe, the temperature would have to be exceedingly high, to the point that it could start a chimney fire that could easily ignite a house fire. Use a wood stove as indicated by the manufacturer.
Avoid Lengthy Low-Burning Fires
If a fire isn’t hot enough, combustion will be incomplete, and there will be a lot of creosote deposited in the stovepipe or chimney. It’s always a good idea to go outside and check the appearance of the smoke exiting the wood stove. If smoke is billowing out, it’s an indication that either the stove is not operating properly or the firewood contains too much moisture. Because the stove should be well-sealed, a smoky fire may not be as obvious inside. It’s important to burn only seasoned firewood in your wood stove.
Schedule Regular Wood Stove Maintenance
Have your wood stove and chimney checked by a professional chimney technician at least once annually. Regular maintenance is an important step in extending the life of your wood stove. During an inspection, chimney techs looks for the following and more:
- Any signs of damage
- Door gaskets
- Chimney flue or stovepipe
On non-enameled wood stoves, chimney technicians will often add a coat of stove paint, as needed, to give the appliance a fresh, new look. Keep in mind that new paint needs to cure, and the stove will usually smoke during that process. The first time you light the stove after it has been painted, try to make at a time when you can open windows for ventilation.
Check Door Gaskets
It’s a good idea to periodically check door gaskets yourself. The efficiency and performance of your wood stove is increased if you change worn door gaskets. The life of the stove is also extended, with gaskets that operate properly.
One way to check the condition of your wood stove door gaskets is to hold a dollar bill in the stove door, and close the door on it. If it easily pulls out when you tug on it, the doors either need to be adjusted or have a new gasket installed. If the dollar is snug and doesn’t budge easily, the gasket is in good shape. Check all around each door gasket, however, because they could be loose in some spots and tight in others.
Wood stoves are excellent investments. To protect your investment, why not consult the professionals at one of our member stores and schedule maintenance for your wood stove today?