To keep your wood stove working safely and efficiently this fall and winter, you should be familiar with how to properly clean and maintain the stove. At Owens Chimney Systems, we carry both Hampton and Regency wood-burning stoves that are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and designed for superior efficiency. Regency has produced an excellent video on that demonstrates exactly how to best take care of your wood stove during burning season. We would like to give you a summary of this video to highlight exactly what you need to do when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your wood stove.
1. REMOVING ASHES
If you are using your wood stove daily this fall and winter, you will want to remove the ashes every few days. Never allow the ashes to build up to the loading doors as this could lead to problems with your stove. To safely remove the ashes, wait until the ashes have cooled sufficiently. However, you never should assume there are no burning embers within the ashes. Scoop the ashes into a metal container with a lid. Once you have placed the ashes into the container, store this container outside of your home on a non-combustible surface such as concrete or brick. You will want to leave behind a layer of one-half to one-inch of ashes to provide insulation that will help you easily ignite a fire in the stove.
2. CLEANING THE GLASS DOORS
Let your wood stove cool to room temperature. Open the glass doors to clean them with a soft clean cloth and a fireplace glass cleaner that you can purchase from Owens Chimney Systems. Spray the cleaner directly to the glass doors and then wipe it off with the soft clean cloth in a circular motion. You may need to use another clean cloth to remove all of the residue of the cleaner.
3. PREVENTING CREOSOTE ACCUMULATION
To keep the flammable compound of creosote from building up in your stove and chimney, Regency offers the following tips:
- Every morning, burn a fire in your stove for 15 minutes with the draft control wide open.
- Each time you add new firewood to your stove, open the damper to its full open position for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Only burn seasoned wood that has been allowed to dry for at least six months.
- Burn small, hot fires rather than large, smoldering fires.
- Inspect the chimney and the chimney connector every two months during burning season to look for creosote buildup.
- Schedule a professional chimney cleaning twice a year, generally at the beginning and at the end of the burning season.
If you would like to learn more about cleaning and maintaining your wood stove, contact us at Owens Chimney Systems. We can help you keep your wood stove working safely and efficiently throughout the entire burning season.