Hi, I am Danielle from NorthlineExpress.com and today we are going to discuss the basic steps in wood stove care.
Knowing the basics on how to care for your wood stove will allow you to burn at a better efficiency and get more out of your fuel supply. More than not when a homeowner switches over to wood as a fuel source it is to save money. So don’t waste fuel with an inefficient fire, produce as much heat as possible by being knowledgeable and having the right essentials.
Wood Stove Care Preparation
To start I would like to introduce you to the Soot Suit. This is a great option for homeowners that are going to be cleaning their chimney or preforming regular maintenance on their wood stove themselves. Professionals also use the Soot Suit daily for customer wood stove care. This suit will help to protect clothing from being covered or stained with black creosote that comes along with cleaning your chimney or wood stove.
Check the Wood Stove’s Draft
Now on to checking the drafting of your wood stove, smoke pellets are a great product to assist in checking your draft. You will simply place one pellet in the firebox and light it. It will then begin to smoke and if your wood stove is drafting properly the smoke will get sucked right up the flue. If you have any down drafts at all or smoke coming into the room instead of up the flue you will have further inspecting of the venting system to do.
Some of the issues that may arise could consist of the type of chimney cap or if there is one at all, the venting system may not be tall enough or may be too tall. These smoke pellets may also be used in fireplaces. They come in a quantity of 6 per package. It is recommended that you do not inhale the smoke from the pellets and to keep all children and pets out of the room that the flue is being tested in.
One other thing to check if you are having smoke coming back into the room is whether or not you have a blockage in the chimney or venting system. If you do see an object obstructing the pipe or chimney you can use a ProFlex Harpoon tool or a ProFlex Retrieving tool to remove the obstruction. Regular chimney cleaning helps to prevent any obstruction from occurring and will also allow them to be caught right away.
Cleaning your Wood Stove
Now let’s talk about a couple of our most popular ash vacuums that will assist you in your wood stove care…the Cheetah II and the Cougar Quiet Ash Vacuums. These ash vacuums are both made by Loveless Ash and are a great option for fireplaces and wood stoves.
An additional option that may be added to the ash vacuum is the 3 piece tool kit. This tool kit will include a brush adapter, crevice tool, and also the pellet stove attachment. Using an ash vacuum makes removing ash and dust a breeze, you have the inside of the wood stove and the outside done all at once.
To keep with the cleaning of your wood stove we are going to take a look at Rutland’s Conditioning Glass Cleaner. This glass cleaner is going to be helpful in removing that built up creosote on your glass doors that is blocking your view of the beautiful fire inside the wood stove. This product may also be used on glass fireplace doors as well.
All you will need in addition to the cleaner is a damp rag, paper towel, or newspaper works good as well. Put a small amount on your rag, wipe it onto the glass surface a in a circular motion and watch the creosote wipe right off.
Rutland’s Glass Cleaner is a non-abrasive, conditioning cleaner so you will not have to worry about scratching the glass and it will also protect for future cleanings preventing creosote from sticking on the glass.
Tool sets are essential for everyday use with a wood stove. Fireplace tool sets include many of the tools you will need for wood stove care and everyday burning. You can find tools sets in several different styles, colors, lengths and sizes.
There are four tools that are commonly included in the tool sets and they are the poker, shovel, broom, and a pair of tongs. Tools sets are very handy to have near your wood stove, they are going to help with all of your basic needs for tending your fire and wood stove care.
Keeping your Hearth Tidy
Wood holders are another must have for wood stove care. They help keep a small amount of wood nice and tidy. Some may even come with a nice leather wood carrier that is perfect for keeping all of the debris contained and from dropping on the floor as you bring wood in from outdoors.
The wood carrier prevents the need for extra clean up when hauling in wood. Both the wood holder and the carrier are available in many different colors and sizes. Some wood holders come with a shelf underneath for kindling and fire starters. It all depends on what your needs are for your hearth.
Starting a Fire in the Wood Stove
The time has come for us to start a fire in our wood stove. To start the fire we are using Rutland’s Safe-Lite Fire Starters. These fire starters are available in a 24 or 144 count package.
The Safe-Lite Fire Starters are very simple to use. You will just open the package, break off one square, place it in the center of the firebox, and light the corner of the square to do this our Long Fireplace Matches are perfect. Place two sticks of Fatwood kindling style fire starters or any type of kindling on the Safe Lite square. Then add a dry seasoned log on top of the Fatwood.
To protect your hand when placing the log in it is better to be as safe as possible and use a pair of fireplace gloves. I prefer the Long Arm 20” Fireplace Gloves but they do also come in a 13 ½” length as well.
Preventing Creosote Buildup
Now let’s not forget that a big part of wood stove care is taking preventative measures to keep your home safe. Before the fire is lit spray the log or logs with the ACS Creosote remover. This will help prevent creosote buildup in the wood stove’s chimney pipe.
Once the fire is burning it will release the chemicals from the ACS and up the flue to break up any creosote that is in the flue as well as prevent more from building.
The ACS comes in a quart size or a gallon size. I recommend purchasing a quart and a gallon to refill the quart as needed for a busy burning season. You will want to spray the log itself about 2-3 times.
Kwik Shot Soot Stopper Toss-in Creosote Removers are another great product to have on hand for the wood stove care process. This type of creosote remover is very convenient to use for maintenance on your chimney flue whether it be a wood stove or a fireplace flue.
All you do is toss one into a solid burning fire and let it start working. It is recommended that you use these once every 1-2 weeks depending on how quickly the creosote builds up in your flue. The Kwik Shot Soot Stoppers will help break down the existing creosote buildup into a brushable ash and also prevent the future buildup of creosote from forming.
Replace the Airs Moisture
When burning a wood stove the air in the home tends to become dry because the wood stove produces such a hot dry heat. Kettles and Steamers are a great addition for a wood stove to help put the moisture back in the air.
Part of wood stove care is to keep your home comfortable. If the air in your home is too dry you could possibly experience nose bleeds or breathing difficulties. Homes can also become very statically charged if they are too dry and who enjoys being shocked every time that they touch something?
They come available in a large array of sizes and colors. They are available in cast iron with a porcelain enamel finish or just cast iron alone. There is a style of steamer to match any décor. You can also use the steamer or kettle to add fragrance to your room by using the fragrance oils by Stove Scents.
Ensure Optimal Burning and Heating
To ensure that your wood stove is burning at optimal temperatures a Wood stove Thermometer may be a wood stove care necessity. Every wood stove’s optimal burning temperature differs from the next. Making sure that your wood stove is burning between the right temperature range helps to cut down on the amount of creosote buildup in your flue. There are several different styles for wood stove thermometers on the market. We offer a good selection to choose from as well.
To circulate as much heat as possible throughout your home consider adding an EcoFan to your wood stove. EcoFans generate their own electricity from the surface heat of your wood stove and circulate warm air throughout the room, increasing your comfort and fuel efficiency.
The EcoFan comes in 2 or 3 blade models and you can get the blades in gold, silver, or black. This fan pushes approximately 100 CFMs. Optimal working temperature range is 450-600 degrees. This is when you will see the fan working at max speed.
Be Prepared for the Unforeseeable
One major wood stove care concern for homeowners is the occurrence of a chimney fire. Just to be prepared for the possibility of chimney fires keep 2-3 Chimfex Fire Suppressants readily available. Chimfex is a great product to have accessible and it is very simple to use. The directions are right on the back of the box.
It is recommended that you read the directions to familiarize yourself with how to use the product when you purchase it. This is so in the occurrence of a chimney fire you will already know how to use the product and can act quickly.
I hope you found the information on wood stove care helpful but if you still have questions please give our Customer Service Department a call at 1-866-667-8454. Here at NorthlineExpress, home of the Buy and Try Satisfaction Guarantee, we are always happy to help.
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