A wood stove is a beautiful addition to any home. A wood stove adds a classic, rustic beauty to a home. At the same time, these beautiful additions to your home provide energy-efficient heating to your room. To keep your wood stove operating correctly, you must maintain it properly. Proper maintenance helps prevent home fires and other issues often caused by wood stoves. Tips and tricks for maintaining your wood stove such as providing a proper inspection, following installation guidelines, and using the appropriate type of wood, along with other tips and tricks, will make sure your home and family is kept safe.
1. Inspect Your Wood Stove Properly
When installing a wood stove, you should wait to use it until it has been adequately inspected. One of the top methods of inspection is known as the WETT inspection. WETT means Wood Energy Technology Transfer. An inspection, done by a certified WETT contractor, ensures your wood stove is installed correctly to provide the most efficient heat. While a wood stove cannot be WETT certified, a certified inspector can provide a report that the stove is installed and compliant with all regulations and codes.
While most people have wood stoves professionally installed, some people may choose to install the stove on their own. If you decided to install the stove on your own, it is essential to complete a WETT inspection before operating the stove. Without such an inspection or professional installation, you may risk voiding your home insurance coverage in the event of a wood stove related house fire.
2. Use Seasoned Wood
The type of fuel used in your wood stove is key to keeping it working efficiently and maintaining safety. Wood stoves require seasoned wood to run effectively. Seasoned wood is dry and burns more efficiently than fresh wood.
Make sure to avoid using soft wood, such as pine or cedar. The reality is, your firewood supply may — and should — contain a mixture of both hardwoods such as oak and maple along with softwoods such as pine and fir. Dense hardwoods burn longer and produce more heat, making them superior to softwoods for maintaining your fire. However, softwoods like pine ignite easier and produce a hotter flame since they burn more rapidly. This makes pine an excellent choice for kindling — smaller twigs and narrow branches and logs used to start your fire. Even use it for keeping the fire going if it’s all you have, or if you want a hot fire with lots of flames. Oak and other harder wood are best for a wood stove. Make sure the wood is 3 to 5 inches shorter than the box in your wood stove to ensure proper burning efficiency.
3. Clean the Ashes Regularly
Where there is fire, there is ash. Wood stoves burn wood and leave ashes after every use. Keeping your firebox clean of ashes will help your wood stove burn more efficiently. It will also help keep your home safe from fires resulting from the wood stove. Store ashes in a metal container with metal lid.
4. Properly Clean the Chimney and Stove Pipe
A wood stove chimney and stovepipe should be professionally thoroughly cleaned at least once a year. The best way to clean it is with a wire brush. However, it is also a good idea to occasionally use a controlled, high-powered fire to help the airflow through the chimney and stove pipe.
Avoid any chemical cleaners, ropes, and chains. These items can destroy the stove pipe and reduce the efficiency of your wood-burning stove.
5. Follow Proper Fire-Starting Techniques
There is a technique for starting a fire in a wood-burning stove. First, never over stuff the stove. You should only need three pieces of wood in the stove at a time. You will need newspaper and dry kindling to start the fire. As your wood dwindles, you may add additional wood, but never keep more than three pieces of wood in the stove at a time.
6. Make Sure Your Home is Covered, Keeping Your Asset Safe.
No matter how careful you may be using your wood-burning stove, you must make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy includes coverage for home fires. Read your policy to ensure a wood stove does not void your coverage. Some plans may have specific requirements to ensure your coverage is upheld if a fire occurs due to your wood-burning stove.
To learn more about coverage for your wood stove, contact the experts at Duliban Insurance Brokers at 855.385.4226. Our licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.