Wood Stove Annual Maintenance

Now that its warming up,  it’s time to have your wood stove and chimney thoroughly inspected.  Most stoves have several things in common that must be taken care of.  Here are some things AES Hearthplace checks for:

1.  Clean the stove thoroughly.  It’s a messy job, but we have the tools to handle it.

2.  Worn GasketingAES can replace worn-out gasketing.  Gaskets make the door airtight, enhancing the performance of your wood stove  If you stove has a worn-out gasket or one that has come loose, the stove can get more combustion air than it was designed to handle.  Your stove won’t burn as clean and you’ll use more fuel.

3.  Does the door shut securely?  It may need adjustment.

4.   Draft ControlsAES can make sure the draft controls are operating properly.  Creosote will clog the controls making them difficult to move or to get a good seal.

5.  The Damper.  AES will make sure it’s functioning properly.

6.  Cracks.  If you have a cast-iron stove, check for cracks in and between the castings.  If you find some, we can probably repair them.

7.  Thin spots.  If you have a steel stove, you can check for thin spots by pressing firmly with the palm of your hand on any area that appears burned.  If it’s thinning it will flex.  If you discover a thin spot, its time to buy a new stove.

8.  Rust.  If you find rust, its possible to clean the rust off and repaint the stove, but you may as well look for a new stove.

9.  Catalytic UnitAES can remove and clean the catalytic unit.  This should be done every year to prevent it from plugging allow it to function efficiently.

10.  Cleaning the Glass Doors.  New stoves have an “air wash system” that keeps the glass doors cleaner longer.  For older stoves, or when you need to clean your glass doors, there are many great glass door cleaners on the market that will get rid of smoke stains and creosote from the glass. Just make sure the glass is cool before you clean or it may break.

11.  Important for Wood stove Inserts – AES will check the insulation on the surrounds, these are the plates that seal the area between the outside of the insert and the face of the fireplace.  If this insulation is worn, AES will replace it.