How to Properly Maintain Your Wood Heater
When the bitter cold winds of winter blow outside, nothing is more comforting than the warm glow and crackle of flames in your wood heater. Of course like any other heating or cooling system, proper maintenance is the key to getting the most from your wood heating unit and extend its lifespan. Here are some helpful tips to consider:
1. Clean out the ashes
The firebox gets quite dirty because of all the ash. Use a metal tool to clean inside this area because there may still be hot embers present, so a plastic tool is a definite no! If you’ve got a garden, try scattering the ashes there since it be serve as fertilizer if it came from clean, untreated wood.
2. Keep the glass clean
Over time, the glass on the firebox gets sooty mostly as a result of using moist firewood or poor draught in the flue. Keeping the glass clean does not only help the heat to come out better, but also makes the fire nice to look at. Warm soapy water and some scouring or scrubbing brushes should get the job done.
3. Examine the flue
Many cases of house fires occur due to a buildup of creosote and resin in the flue or chimney. Make sure it is cleaned regularly, especially if you use your heater on a frequent basis. You should also make it a habit to check your flue for smoke — excessive smoke means you are wasting fuel and heat, not to mention the unnecessary emissions. You can resolve this by Increasing the air supply to the fire.
4. Check the paint for scratches
Most wood heaters come with a heat-resistant spray paint. If you notice any scratches or rust on the surface, sand the affected areas gently and repaint. You can buy a new can of paint from the store where you got the heater.
5. Replace worn gaskets
Inspect the seals/gaskets, making sure they are still tight. They get worn over time, which can make the stove loose. Change them if necessary.
6. Choose the right wood
With all the cleaning and replacements done, the next step is to have the right fuel for a great fire. Do not burn cold or damp wood as it only creates excessive smoke both inside and outside your house. Go for only seasoned hardwood like Jarrah, oak, ash or maple that has been cut and dried under cover for a minimum of 6 -12 months. These are denser and heavier, burning evenly and delivering more heat than their lighter counterparts like pine and cedar.
In addition to these steps, be sure to have your wood heater inspected by a wood heater specialist, preferably before winter season sets in, to ensure everything is working perfectly.