Maintenance Tips for Wood Stoves
Using best fireplace insert during the coldest months of the year allows homeowners to simultaneously supplement or replace their central heating systems and add atmosphere to their homes. However, a certain amount of maintenance is required in order to keep these stoves functioning safely. Read on to find some tips on maintaining wood stoves.
Be Aware of Limitations
Some stoves are designed to burn coal as well as wood, but most are designed to handle only seasoned firewood. Things like trash or treated wood should never be burned in a wood stove, as these materials can start dangerous chimney fires and emit noxious gases. Products that contain lead, sulfur, zinc, or plastic are particularly bad to burn in a wood stove as they can cause damage to the stove's catalytic combustion mechanisms.
Maintain Optimum Efficiency
The optimum heat range for most wood stoves is between 300 and 400 degrees. Building fires that get any hotter than that can cause air quality issues in the home and release excessive pollution into the air through the chimney.
Clean Out Excess Ashes
It's important to keep a stove's air intake vents clear. This can be accomplished simply by removing any excess ashes on a routine basis. Keep in mind that allowing excess ashes to build up can raise the amount of oxygen required to maintain an efficient fire in addition to producing excess smoke.
Any household that utilizes a wood stove needs to be inspected at least once a year by a professional in order to avoid creosote buildup and decrease the risk of chimney fires. During this inspection, the stove itself and its flue should be checked carefully for any signs of deterioration like warping, leaks, cracks, and baffling gaps as well as creosote buildup in the chimney. The best time to have this inspection performed is immediately before the winter season.
Don't Use it All the Time
Obviously, if it is cold in the home, it's time to start a fire and warm up the room. However, it's important to keep in mind that the more use a stove sees, the more quickly it will deteriorate and the more maintenance it will require. Choosing an efficient model of wood stove can help to eliminate some of the annoying maintenance tasks that must be routinely performed by ensuring that the heater won't need to work as hard to produce adequate heat.
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