Just like any other appliance in your house, your wood-burning stove needs a little bit of extra love and care to stay in tip-top condition throughout the year. Most people will regularly check theirs during the colder Winter months, but not think to do so during prolonged periods of disuse - over summer, for example. It may seem over the top, but letting long periods of time to go by without a check could allow issues to embed and develop. On the other hand, a spot of log burner maintenance every 4 to 6 weeks can help to ensure they will continue performing for years to come with little to no need for major repairs.
If you’ve only just invested in your first log burner or are just starting to look into the best log burners for the winter ahead, you might not know just how important regular log burner maintenance and cleaning can be when it comes to safety and wood-burning performance. Keeping your wood-burning stove clean and thoroughly checked will make it easier to spot potential safety hazards (like a deteriorated fire rope seal) as well as cracking or corrosion issues that might lead to exorbitant energy bills and inefficient heating.
While you might not be thinking about log burner maintenance during the summer, you should never let your stove go unchecked for too long. Taking good care of it throughout the warmer months is in fact essential for a fiery, efficient performance over the colder winter months.
So, what are the most important maintenance issues you should check for and how can you clean your wood-burning stove in the most effective way? Here are our top 5 log burner maintenance tips for a stove that will look and perform like it’s straight out of the box, every time!
1. Clean Out The Ashes
First of all, you should always make sure to clean the inside of your stove at the start of the summer, as the ashes accumulated during the winter can corrode your burner’s interior if left to sit for too long.
Start by removing all the internal parts (grate, baffle, ashpan and firebricks) before vacuuming the inside to get rid of all leftover ashes. At the same time, work on the different parts separately, cleaning them with a soft brush and scraper, if needed.
2. Sweep The Chimney Or Flue Pipe
For the same reasons, you should also make sure your burner’s chimney is properly cleaned of creosote buildup and soot, using a sweeping brush to reach up and above.
It’s always best to clean your chimney thoroughly at least twice a year, with special attention right at the start of the summer, so you can have you wood-burning stove in tip-top condition when you’re going to need it the most.
Creosote buildup will not only decrease the efficiency of your appliance but it may also pose a dangerous fire hazard, so it might be worth reaching out to professional cleaners!
3. Clean The Glass & Leave The Door Open
Most modern log burners come fitted with an air wash system that will keep soot away from the glass, but it’s still always recommended to give the glass a thorough clean after the winter months to avoid premature discoloration. It’s best to not use any corrosive cleaning substances and, instead, opt for a gentle clean with white vinegar, softwood ash, or a specially formulated stove glass cleaner.
At this time, you might also want to leave the stove door slightly open to allow airflow and avoid corrosion during an extended period when the stove is not being used.
4. Check For Any Deterioration
Finally, you should check (and double-check) for any deterioration that might have happened during the winter, including checking the condition of the door’s fire rope, the outside of the stove for small cracks, and internal corrosion.
On the topic of corrosion, one of the most important Log Burner maintenance tips we can offer is to check for rust. Once formed, rust will spread and eat away at iron or steel until it's no longer suitable or safe for use. Removing any rust that has formed and ensuring any non-rusted metal is adequately protected is essential for ensuring the longevity of a log burner.
5. Take Care Of The Outside
Properly looking after the outside of a wood burning stove is one of the most overlooked aspects of log burner maintenance, but we believe that it shouldn't ever be ignored. Regardless of whether it's -5 or 35 degrees outdoors, a log burner is a focal point in many homes and its exterior will be seen by anybody who steps through the front door.
If aesthetics aren't quite enough to motivate you, it's worth bearing in mind that scratches are not only unsightly, they also expose the material underneath the surface. If you were wondering how the rust mentioned in point 4 could develop, untreated damage and ignored scratches are often underlying causes.
Fortunately, repairing superficial damage to the outside surface is an easy task. Most are coated using a heat resistant paint that's commonly available in shops where log burners are sold. Simply clean the area around where you'll be painting and then apply it.
Get The Highest Quality Wood Fuels For A Healthy, Long-Lasting Log Burner
Cleaning tips and safety check aside, you should keep in mind that, as always, investing in high-quality, extra dry wood fuels is the best way to guarantee your stove is well taken care of with every burn.
Using properly seasoned logs with extra-low moisture content and zero chemical additives will ensure minimal ash, smoke, and soot, making for a cleaner burn and a whole lot less log burner maintenance!
So, if you’re looking for the best place to get all your wood fuels for the colder months to come (plus all the BBQ wood fuels you could ever ask for!), there’s no better place to find what you're looking for than Lekto Wood Fuels. Whether you're looking for Heat Logs, Kiln-Dried Firewood, Wood Briquettes, or simply some kindling, all our products are 100% chemical free and designed with what’s best for your wood burner in mind.