Summer 2016 is fast approaching and the warm weather means you won’t be needing your stove. If, like many wood burning or multifuel stove owners, you don’t use your stove to warm your whole home through a central heating system, the chances are you won’t be using your stove for another six months.
Closing your stove down provides you with the opportunity for maintenance and cleaning, to help prolong the life of your stove and to ensure it works perfectly the next time you come to use it. Now that the heating season has ended, or is about to, it is easier to find an available installer, quicker to receive any spare parts and there is less urgency to get anything fixed before the weather turns cold.
Here are a list of maintenance pointers you should follow to close down your stove for the summer:
Thoroughly clean the stove:
Don’t just empty the ashpan – get your hands on an ash-vac and remove all traces of ash and soot. Clean the ceramic glass and strip the stove down to the individual components to give it a deep clean. Familiarise yourself with the parts of a stove here.
Need the right tools to clean or restore or repair your stove? Shop here.
Clean the chimney:
Get your chimney swept to prevent the build-up of creosote, which can be dangerous. You can do this at the beginning of the heating season instead, but we think that it’s better to get it done before, so that in case the cold catches you unawares you’re not left burning in a dirty chimney, which is a fire risk.
Find the right tools for the job here.
Check for any broken parts, fix them:
Now that your stove is clean you will now be able to see if anything that is in need of some maintenance. Check the firebricks are in good condition, check hinges, baffle plates and other parts of the stove. Wear and tear and being exposed to extreme heat will eventually take its toll on even the hardiest of stoves.
Need to stove parts? Shop here.
Stove rope maintenance:
This hardy length of rope runs around the inside of the door and creates an air tight seal, preventing smoke entering your room and air leakages into the firebox. An easy maintenance tip to check your fire rope’s health; run chalk all around the rope and close the door as normal. When you open the door you should see an unbroken line around your stove where the chalked stove rope sits. If you spot any gaps then you should replace the rope immediately.
Stove rope broken? Shop here for new stove rope.
Replace your alarm’s batteries:
When was the last time you replaced the batteries in your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm? If you can’t remember then it is a god idea to switch the batteries for a fresh set – don’t wait for the alarm to alert you when the batteries are running low.
Need a new alarm? Shop here for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Rotate wood in woodpile:
The warmer weather presents a great opportunity to rotate the wood in the woodpile. It is vitally important that you burn only seasoned wood, which has a lower moisture content that unseasoned wood. Bring the wood that you intend to burn this coming winter to the top of the pile and any wood that needs seasoning can go lower down or in a separate store.
Need to restock your woodpile? Shop here for fuel.
We had quite a few storms this past winter and the strong winds can wreak havoc with cowls and chimney stacks and pots. It’s a good idea to get on your roof and have a visual inspection, make sure your cowl is intact and that no damage has been sustained.
Need a new cowl or chimney pot? Shop here.
Finally, if your stove truly isn’t in a good shape it may be time to consider buying a new one – don’t persevere with a damaged stove as it can cause you more problems, and even have some very serious consequences.
Do you have any closing-down tips for stove owners? Or do you have a question? Let us know in the comments below!