Top Tips for New Stove Owners
Burn properly seasoned wood only
It’s not only inefficient but dangerous. Read our in depth article ‘Why is it Important to Burn Seasoned Wood’
Have your chimney swept on a yearly basis
Your chimney should be swept at least once a year, preferably at the start and the end of the winter season. You can find a qualified chimney sweep in your area by visiting nacs.org.uk
Clean the glass each time before lighting
Despite modern stoves having air wash systems there is always a thin film of dirt left on the glass after a fire, cleaning this off with clean, scrunched up newspaper on a daily basis is much easier than letting it build up and cleaning it less frequently. Read our article on How to Clean and Maintain Your Stove to learn more.
Keep an eye on your rope seals
The seals and gaskets are designed to keep the stove air tight and only allow air into the stove through the air inlets. Make sure they’re sealing properly to maintain controllability and avoid over firing. Read our How To Change Rope Seal article for further information.
Keep your ash pan empty
An overflowing ash pan can restrict air flow and therefore controllability whilst using your stove as well as potentially damaging parts of your stove due to overheating. It’s a good idea to empty it daily just so you get into the habit of it.
Use Copper Grease on the latch
Copper Grease is a very useful item for the stove owner. Use sparingly on moving parts to keep them functioning as they’re designed to. Only a thin smear is needed in most cases, applying too thickly can cause it to run.
Fit a flue pipe thermometer
Flue pipe thermometers are a great addition to your installation, especially for those that have little experience running a wood burning stove. Held onto the flue pipe above the stove by magnets and/or wire they give a temperature range in which the stove should operate, as well as an indication of when it’s too cold and will smoke and an indication of when the fire is running too hot and will overheat.
Buy a good quality companion set
You’re going to need a poker, a brush and a dustpan. They should be of a metal construction, so you’re able to deal with embers if necessary. Be sure they’re of a decent quality, buy cheap, buy twice!
We’ve found most ‘seasoned’ wood on sale is far too wet to burn efficiently on a stove and invariably needs another years seasoning for best results. This is why it’s always best to buy next year’s wood this year, stack it and make sure it’s good for when you come to use it. Read our article Why Is It Important to Burn Seasoned Wood to learn more. Winter time is naturally a very busy time for installers and sweeps, so if you know your stove needs some maintenance work that requires a qualified person or that your chimney is due to be swept then try to get the work done in summer time. Frequently people wait until it becomes an issue (when it drops cold) then they’re disappointed to learn that there’s a 4 week waiting list for an installer. Think ahead and make sure your stove is in tip top shape for the cold weather to come.
Consider purchasing an ash carrier
Not strictly necessary but a very useful accessory for your stove. An ash carrier is a rectangular metal box with a lid, buy one wider and deeper than your ash pan. Ashes from the fire can be emptied straight into the box and the lid immediately covered to limit the amount of dust associated with cleaning out your stove. The ashes can then be carried easily outside and emptied, rather than walking outside with the ash pan in hand and getting a face full of ashes when you open the front door and the wind hits you!