Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Even Your Stove Deserves A Spring Clean

Spring has finally sprung so make the most of the warmer weather to give your woodburning stove a well-earned break for a few months! Before you do so, though, give your stove a spring clean to ensure when you return to it in the autumn, everything is of the highest quality and the wood burner is operating beautifully.
Getting your stove in order now certainly makes sense, especially as hopefully you won’t need to fire up any more logs in the stove until September/October time. And even if we do have the odd cold snap, an annual thorough clean of your stove helps to maintain its efficiency as well as prevent bigger problems from arising.
You should have your chimney swept and check the inside/outside of your stove too.

HETAS-registered engineers will be able to carry out a service on your woodburning stove, but it is possibly to spring clean your own stove should you choose to do so. Always read your user’s manual before beginning any maintenance work on your stove and make sure you feel confident to do the task yourself – if you’re in any doubt or think you need assistance, call for a professional stove engineer.
Interior
In order to properly clean the inside of your wood burner, you need to empty it first. This means removing all the internal parts, including the firebricks, grate, ash pan and baffle. Take special care with the firebricks as regular use means these are susceptible to cracks and chips when handled.
Once emptied of the parts, you can give the inside of your stove a quick hoover. This removes any surplus ash and debris, and lets you see the real state of the stove’s interior. You may need to use a wire brush and scraper to give the inside an overhaul, before hoovering up any waste.
The individual parts should be cleaned separately. For example, the grate can be cleaned using a wire brush to remove debris. Look for any damage and if you find some, you may need to replace the grate. Similarly, check over the firebricks to ensure there are no broken ones – if there are, replace these bricks. Because of the fragile nature of these bricks, use a soft brush to clean them.
Before replacing the parts back into the stove, the door will need attention.
Stove door
Remove the glass from the door so you can clean it and inspect it for any damage. Also check the rope seal and throw this away if it looks worn. To replace the rope seal with a new piece, first remove the leftover glue from the door frame, and then glue the new seal rope into place before refitting the door.
Exterior
As your woodburning stove is such a focal point in your home, you’ll doubtless want to keep it looking great on the outside too. Check for rust – we have tips for you if you need to remove rust from your stove – and you may want to repaint the outside of the device. This is easy to do and breathes new life into the device, with the option to use spray or tin stove paint.

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