Wood burning stoves are a great way to stay warm in the winter without being reliant on outside utility providers. You can use them to heat an entirely off grid house, as ambiance or anything in between. They do need a little bit of maintenance, so before the weather gets cold make sure your wood stove is in great shape. Before the burning season begins do a check of the stove and it’s components and make sure it’s operating at peak efficiency. We didn’t do any maintenance last year and regretted it when our gasket fell out! It was pretty chilly until we got it fixed!
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- Why You Need A Wood Burning Stove
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4 Things To Check On Your Wood Stove Before Winter
- Gasket The gasket looks like a large rope around the door. It should be firmly in place and undamaged for the best seal. Replace or re-glue if loose or damaged. Any stove shop should carry an appropriate glue.
- Door If your door does not seal tightly when closed you will lose efficiency. Adjust the handle or hinges if necessary. This should be easy to tighten with just a screw driver. This is also a good time to pick up more glass cleaner if you need it and give your glass a good cleaning.
- Firebrick All firebrick should be intact without cracks or missing pieces. Replace if it is not complete. Check where you purchased your stove for replacement bricks.
- Pipe Creosote can build up in the chimney and become a fire hazard. Run a chimney brush down the pipe to clear it out. If you think there might be a clog or something crazy like a squirrel’s nest, you may need to schedule someone to come out. If you start burning and there isn’t good draft and smoke is pouring out instead of up, that’s a sign of a block.
There is more complicated maintenance that can be done such as repainting, adjusting pipe height for better draft, replacing the air intake, or replacing the stove glass. (Woodheat.org has more information about some more detailed maintenance). Check these things as well when doing your basic maintenance and schedule someone to come look at it well before it’s chilly outside. It’s not fun to be stuck without a nice warm fire. With just a little care an attention most wood stoves will work beautifully for a very long time!
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