Having a wood stove is a lot of work--curing the wood, learning how to burn the wood properly and maintaining the stove are all serious tasks. Keeping your stove properly maintained and repairing issues as they occur will keep your stove working for as long as you are in your house.
If you have wood that is burning slowly or not burning at all, you may need to clean out the creosote in the chimney flue. Creosote is a wood preservative used to cure beech wood and other common burning woods. Burning a log releases a creosote resin with the smoke. This collects in your chimney. Wet or unseasoned wood or a log that is not burning properly can contribute to this buildup. Have your chimney flue professionally cleaned to remove creosote.
One of the main causes of heat loss from a wood-burning stove is a loose loading door, so check it regularly for holes. Check the seal around the door for cracking or missing chunks. If you find holds or cracks, replace the door. Check that the door closes properly by inserting a piece of paper where the door closes while the stove is cool. Close the door onto the sheet of paper and let go. The paper should not fall out and should not come loose when pulled. If it does the door of the stove needs to be repaired. Check the door latch and adjust properly.
Firebrick and Chimney Pipes
If your wood-burning stove chimney is surrounded by brick, check it regularly for cracks or damage. This firebrick keeps the temperature regulated as well as aiding in combustion. If bricks are cracked, patch them with repair cement, which can be purchased at your local hardware store. The stove chimney should be checked annually prior to the burning season for clogs, cracks or leaks.
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