Wood-burning stoves are a great, cost-efficient way to keep your home warm during the winter months. They also add an unmistakable rustic charm to any room. What’s more, modern EcoDesign or clearSkies certified stoves are much more efficient than their ancestors, meaning less fuel is needed to keep your home warm. And it is proven that having a wood-burning stove or open fire installed is a quick way to raise the value of your property.
However, wood burners need proper maintenance to perform their best. And skimping on this step can have serious consequences:
- Short-term consequences: The efficiency of your stove will quickly diminish, which means you’ll need to use more wood fuel.
- Mid-term consequences: A buildup of creosote will create a combustion hazard in your chimney. At this point, your burner will need serious professional repair.
- Long-term consequences: Your burner will be irreparable and must be replaced.
In this article, Lekto experts will tell you everything you need to know about wood stove maintenance.
Tip #1: Clean Your Stove Regularly
Cleaning your stove regularly is the best (and cheapest) way of maintaining its efficiency and health.
A simple stove-cleaning kit can be bought on Amazon for as little as £20 and will contain everything you need to keep your stove clean.
And doing basic things like cleaning your ash pan and stove glass require no tools whatsoever.
Related article: Top 7 Must-Have Log Burner Accessories
Tip #2: Hire a Chimney Sweep Every Year
Hiring a professional chimney sweep is non-optional.
You absolutely need to do it at least once a year.
A build-up of creosote in your chimney can create a serious fire hazard in your home. Only a certified professional can clean it properly.
To learn more about hiring a chimney sweep, read this related article: The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Chimney Sweep
Tip #3: Only Use Dry Wood and Briquettes
You may know that using properly dried wood and briquettes is essential for the efficiency of your stove. But it is also equally as important for the quality of the air you breathe and the health of your appliance. Wet wood smokes and smoulders when burned, producing a lot less heat and a lot more creosote when burned. By only using high-quality wood fuels, you’ll slow down creosote buildup, helping prolong the lifetime of your stove.
If you season your own logs, then owning a wood moisture meter is an absolute must. Quality firewood should contain no more than 20% moisture.
If you purchase your logs from a trusted supplier like Lekto Woodfuels, then you don’t need to worry as all of our firewood and briquettes are certified according to Defra’s Ready to Burn quality assurance scheme.
Related article: The Lekto Guide to Stocking up on Wood Fuel
Tip #4: Make Sure Your Stove Has Been Installed Properly
Proper installation is crucial for the safety and efficiency of any wood-burning appliance.
If you are considering purchasing a new wood burner, then it is important to have your stove installed by a certified professional.
If you’re unsure if your appliance has been properly installed, ask your certified chimney sweep to perform an inspection the next time you hire them to sweep your chimney.
You may enjoy: The 6 Different Types of Wood Fuel Briquettes and Their Uses
Tip #5: Know How to Use Your Wood Fuels Properly
Lastly, please use how to use your appliance and wood fuels properly. At the very least, you must know how to start a fire properly, how to avoid overheating (and thus damaging) your stove, how to clean your stove, and how to properly pre-heat your stove.
Additionally, make sure you use your stove and wood fuels in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. The instructions for all of Lekto’s wood fuel products are available here.