When the bitter cold winter blows outside and enters the building, there is nothing as soothing as the glow and warm crackle of a wood heater that neutralise the effect of cold and gives you comfort. Based on this, you will agree that wood heaters are extremely important in our day to day lives. Therefore, it is essential that a wood fireplace is adequately and optimally maintained to make it efficient and safe. This piece will give you certain tips which you can utilise to when servicing your wood heaters.
Getting the Best from the Wood Heaters
Below are some of the things you need to do to service and maintain your wood heaters effectively.
- First, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms and always ensure that they are in working condition from time to time. This is important, and it’s in line with the principle of ‘safety first’.
- Ensure that you keep combustible materials like furniture and carpets far away from the wood fireplace anytime it’s in operation. You should also make sure that there are no combustibles within nothing less than 12 inches above the metal plate at the top of the heater’s opening.
- Always clean the ash from the fireplace each time it reaches the bottom of the grate. If you don’t do this, the ash will impede airflow. While carrying out this cleaning, make sure you wear gloves and a dust mask for your own safety.
- Ensure that your wood heater and its chimney are inspected and cleaned by a certified sweep at least once every year probably at the end of a burning season if you notice that soot or creosote has built-up within the chimney.
- You can test the function of the heater by lighting small pieces of seasoned wood from the top down. If the smoke does not exit vertically from the heater directly into the chimney but instead enters the room, there is a need for immediate troubleshooting to correct any problems. Such problems may include a build-up of soot or creosote or any other debris in the chimney like animal or bird nests, closed or partially closed damper or wet wood is not burning well.
- One of the good ways to maintain your wood heaters is to carry out some preventive measures. Always avoid the use of wet or ‘green’ wood; that is, you should only sell seasoned wood that has been cut and dried for at least 6 to 12 months. You can notice if a wood is well-seasoned or not by knocking two logs together; you should get a sharp ringing sound. However, if the wood is green, you will get a dull thud. Green woods will not burn well and they will create a creosote or soot; therefore, avoid them.
- In addition to the tip discussed in 6 above, you should also make sure that you burn hardwoods rather than softwoods. Hardwoods like maple and oak are heavier and denser. Therefore, they give you more heat than softwoods like cedar, pine, and poplar
By reading this piece up to this point, you have gained the necessary insights on how you can service and maintain it effectively to obtain the best benefit from it.