In the scorching months of the Great British Summer, the chances are you didn’t use your stove, keeping it dormant for about three months. With the weather beginning to change and autumn winds creeping across the land, you’ve probably begun to think about getting your stove back into action.
Similar to your car’s MOT, it’s necessary to pay your stove the attention it deserves, make repairs to ensure it is running at its most efficient. Autumn is the perfect time to do this, and it’s very important to rectify any problems before the cold weather sets in and the strains and pressures of regular and heavy use are put upon the stove.
Being stuck in the throes of a horrifically icy winter and finding your stove has broken down is very, very miserable.
Before we begin, it’s worth getting to know the parts of your stove and read the user manual that came with it. Read it? Good. Now let’s take a look at Fireplace Product’s Autumn Stove Checklist:
- Clean out the ash-pan. We recommend you use a dedicated ash vacuum cleaner to save your domestic vacuum from becoming blocked from the fine ash particles, or use a secure ash caddie to stop spillages.
- Check all air-holes are clear and free from any debris build up. These help get vital oxygen to your fire and make it as efficient as possible.
- Give your glass a clean with a dedicated stove glass cleaner to get the best results. Not only does this remove the build-up of dangerous creosote, it lets you see the beautiful roaring fire you’ve created.
- Check your stove rope around the seals of your stove doors and replace at the first sign of damage. To do this, chalk the rope with the door open and then shut it. When you open it again, look to see the line made by the chalk on the stove, where the rope should be touching. If any gaps are spotted, then you need to replace the rope.
- Check your firebricks and look for any damage. These reflect the heat back at the fire, protecting the body of the stove and improving efficiency.
- Remove any flammable objects from the area around your stove. Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised what people put on top of (or even in) their stoves when they’re not in use. Similarly, with Halloween coming up, check any decorations hanging nearby aren’t too close to your stove.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. It is absolutely imperative that you make sure these work.
- Get your chimney cleaned by a reputable chimney sweep. Creosote builds up in chimneys over time and birds have a tendency to build nests or fall down them.
- Start to bring in some seasoned wood into your house to keep it dry and ready to go. This will create space in your covered wood pile and allow you to prepare even more wood.
- Gradually begin to warm your stove by lighting small fires in it. Similar to when you first got your stove, you need to slowly suggest heat to the metal parts of the stove so that it doesn’t expand too rapidly and crack.
While these points will help you successfully maintain your stove, we urge you to keep a look out for any wear and tear you may as you go. Let us know how you’re preparing for autumn and what tips you suggest in the comment section below!