Wood stoves are common sources of heat for many homes. It is important that people who use wood stoves and fireplaces have proper cleaning and maintenance done regularly for optimum performance and safety. Even if you try to do the maintenance yourself, it is still critical to have a professional chimney sweep and inspection done to make sure they can catch what you may miss.
Keeping a wood-burning stove clean is the first step to safe burning. When cleaning, the first step is to find the catalytic combustor, located between the fire and the stove pipe. Remove the combustor and clean out the ask by using a small brush. You may also vacuum it afterwards to collect any loose particles. This process should be done every 60 days. The manual will also give you reference for model-specfic instructions. Next use a small shovel to collect ashes (making sure the ashes are completely cool), then placing them into a metal container that has a cover. You will need to keep the ashes in the covered container for at least 48 hours before you dispose of them. You can then use your ashes to enhance your garden or flower beds. Also, use a vacuum to clean out the ashes left inside of the stove. Using a fine sandpaper lightly sand the inside of the glass window. This will help remove any residue that may have built up inside.
After you have the inside of the stove clean you can begin to work on cleaning the outside. You need to check the stove pipe’s outside condition, and if there are any debris near or around the pipe. It is important to keep this pipe away from surrounding trees and branches. Use a chimney brush to clean the inside of the pipe by scrubbing up and down to remove creosotes — be aware than you must wear protective equipment…creosote can be toxic. Follow up by checking the pipe and inside of the stove with a flashlight to make sure you have removed any fallen debris. Remember that the more you use your stove the more you will have to clean it. Yes, you can clean the wood stove yourself, however — only a certified sweep can tell you what is going on inside your chimney. Call Winston’s today to make sure you are minimizing any risk and maximizing the enjoyment of your wood stove.