A Quick and Dirty Guide to Maintaining Your Wood Stove

The logs have been stacked, the temperature has dropped, and you’re ready to cozy up next to the warmth of the fire for the next few months. But did you make sure the stove and chimney are ready to run safely and efficiently all winter long?

Before lighting up that first fire, make sure you’re going to get the most out of your wood-burning stove this season. Here’s how:

Inspect it

Give it a once-over before you use it and throughout the winter to make sure it’s in good shape. This is what you’re looking for:

  • Corrosion on the stove pipe, especially where it connects to the chimney. If you see some, get it replaced!
  • Cracks or missing pieces in the firebrick. Give your stove dealer a call if you notice any, they’ll know what to do.
  • A tight seal on the door gaskets, so tight that you can’t pull out a piece of paper when the door is closed. If you can, you’ll need to replace the gaskets. You should also adjust the handle or hinges, if necessary.
  • Damage to the baffle plate, burn plates, and riddling grate. When they’re worn down, it’s time to get new ones.

Clean it

A clean stove improves draft and saves you money. Remove ashes regularly, leaving a small layer along the bottom to insulate and protect the stove. If your unit has a glass door, you can gently wipe it with moistened, crumpled newspaper or a soft cloth to clean off the soot.

Don’t forget the chimney! This should be cleaned at least once a year. Get it done by a professional stove dealer or chimney sweep. They’ll look for cracks, leaks, warping, baffle gaps, creosote buildup, or anything that could lead to a chimney fire or carbon monoxide leak.

Maintaining your wood stove is part of making sure your home and your family are protected. Lambton Mutual does that, too. Contact one of our agents to see how we offer the best in Residential insurance options.