Spring is a great time of year, but it is also the time for maintenance of the various systems in our homes. Sometimes we forget the importance of this continuing maintenance of our home heating systems, including our wood-burning stoves.
Ultimately, all maintenance of everything in your home that involves combustion is performed in order to save your life. This includes annual inspections of all involved components by certified professionals upholding National Fire Protection Association standards. Obviously, the short-term benefits of the last inspection and cleaning – presumably, within the last year – cannot be expected to still exist now.
That is also why the NFPA stresses that the frequency of needed inspections can be increased by more frequent use. However, just as your home’s foundation depends on those gutters being kept clean and in good condition, it critically depends on safe ‘fire place’ systems. The slow collapse of your home onto a deteriorating foundation beneath it — even hastened by improperly maintained gutters — at least gives you time to get out!
A chimney fire is an explosion inside your home. That is worth remembering when you are tempted to give up on doing your part to maintain your wood-burning stove. Chimney fires level homes…they are never safe…they do dangerous damage when they are ‘minor’ enough to be un-observed. Oddly enough, they are also almost always preventable.
Your continuing maintenance of your wood-burning stove will also extend its life and reduce its ‘operating’ costs. By way of example, burning unseasoned wood means not only a huge increase in creosote – which is ‘the fire starter’ in your flue –but a huge waste of heat. So, no matter how tempted you are to put some of that green wood in there for one of our cold spring nights, it is highly recommended that you only use properly seasoned wood.