The summer is the a period when your stove gets a break. While it is less frequently lit in the warmer months, it is most important to prepare your stove for the colder winter. Like most homes, a crackling stove creates a warm feel to the home and a cosy athmosphere in the living room. Read our advice on Stove Preparation to get your home ready!
Please check through the list before light your stove again. One thing we must say, ensure your stove is cold before you do any Stove Preparation checks. If you’re reading this at the end of winter, make sure to leave a couple of your vents open. This helps to prevent any build up of moisture in the stove and prevents rusting.
Cleaning the Chimney
It’s vital to sweep your chimney and the flexi liner at least twice a year. Sweeping reduces the build up of tar and soot. Without any build up, the effieciency of your stove or burner would be much higher. Another risk from soot build up is increased exposure to carbon monoxide posioning. The gas seeps back into the roof rather than out of the chimney.
Securing the Stove Door
To have a high effiency and to ensure safety in burning. A tight fit and a solid seal are essential for your stove. Check the door for any loose elements. Throughly check over the glass for any cracking or stress fractures.
Take this time to clean the glass, Tar can build up inside the stove as much as in the flue. You can clean stove glass well using our Vitcas cleaning range as seen below. If the door is removable, this can make it easier to clean. Also, check that your stove has plenty of air intake through the vents when you light it. A lack of air flow can cause a lot of problems including soot build-up inside your stove. It can be difficult to maintain a lighting fire. Most importantly the risk of Carbon Monoxide escape.
Wet or unseasoned wood also causes soot deposits on the glass. Read our blog post on choosing the fuel for your fire!
Replacing the Stove Rope
While you’re cleaning the internal stove, take time to check the stove rope. The Stove Rope is very important. It helps both for safety and for efficiency. It creates a smoke seal around the door, ensuring that harmful carbon monoxide and smoke goes up the flue, and not into your space. The rope seal also ensures that the air feeds the fire through the air vents and not from the join between the door and the main body of the stove. This makes your stove much more controllable, and thus more efficient.If it is obviously split, frayed or damaged at all, replace it immediately.
You will need to remove the existing rope and make sure you clear away any old adhesive before glueing the new rope in place with specialist high temperature glue.If the rope looks intact, you can check the seal by shutting a slip of paper in the stove door. When closed, the paper should be difficult to pull out. If it comes out easily then its time to replace the rope to maintain a good seal.
Examing the Stove Exterior
Always ensure that the stove is cold before you inspect it as part of the general maintenance. Be weary of rust, it can cause problems, especially on cast iron stoves. To remove it , simply scrub away rust with a wire brush or steel wool, and Once dried touch up with heat resistant paint or use black grate polish to restore the exterior.
Also you must ensure to inspect the flue pipe for any gaps where fire cement may be missing. As the stove burns and temperature rises the flue pipe expands and contracts, it isn’t unusual for the fire cement to breal up. Should this happen to you, don’t worry. It can be fixed using the Vitcas Fire Cement
Vermiculite Boards or Skamolex Panels
Vermiculte or sometimes known as Skamolex helps to protect the internal sides of your stove, and its surroundings, from high temperatures. It is really important to replace any broken or missing pieces of immediately. Without these iin place it can lead to overheating the stove. Which will wear it out, and if nearby objects or surrounds get too hot it can cause a dangerous situation.
Missing pieces of brick can even cause the stove itself to crack. A crack in a brick is not such an immediate problem as the body of the stove will still be protected.
Now we have got it clear on stove preparation, let’s see what cleaning materials we can use for getting our stove winter ready. We stock a wide variety of Stove Cleaning products check them out below!