How to put your stove to bed for the summer
Summer is a great time to give your multi-fuel stove or wood burner some tender loving care with an annual maintenance check. Ensuring it’s in perfect working order now means you’ll be able to use it straightaway during that first cold night of winter.
- Summer is the best time for a stove maintenance check so it's fully functional for winter
- A fully maintained solid fuel stove is more efficient, safer to use and saves you money
- A summer clean keeps your stove looking its best if it's the focal point of your living room
- Combine a stove maintenance check with a professional chimney clean from a registered sweep who will be less busy in the summer
- Failing to maintain your stove could invalidate its warranty
Below are some top tips to maintain your stove’s performance throughout the year:
Remove ash, soot and debris
The first thing to do is clean any remaining ash, soot or debris from the inside of your closed appliance, paying particular attention to the glass door and the fire grate. The glass on the stove door can become discoloured over time but you can clean it with a stove glass cleaner, a scratch free scouring pad and a clean cloth. Due to the high temperatures the fire grate faces, it can become worn over time. A stove and grate polish can give a lift to your grate but if you are replacing a grate, make sure it fits properly.
Check baffle plate:
Like grates, baffle plates also withstand high temperatures as they are situated inside the firebox area of the stove and subjected to the flames of the fire. It is important to clean the baffle plate of any excess soot build up as this can affect your stove’s performance. Should your baffle plate get damaged, make sure to replace it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
To keep your stove working efficiently it’s important to check all the seals including the door rope, glass gasket seal and any joints which may have been sealed. Seals need to be airtight to avoid drawing in unwanted air to the firebox and reducing optimum performance. A good tip for checking your door seals is to fold a piece of newspaper and close the door on it. Your door will be airtight if you can't pull the paper through.
A fresh coat of paint
Refresh your appliance’s paint finish to hide any minor scratches and blemishes. However, do not use ordinary paint. You should only ever use specialist heat resistant stove paint on multi-fuel and wood burning stoves. Make sure the surface of the stove is free of rust, dirt and grease as these can ruin the end result. If you are just rejuvenating the existing finish of your stove, a single coat is all you need. If you are painting bare metal build up the finish in several layers, allowing time for the paint to dry between coats*.
*When firing the stove for the first time since painting, open a window as the paint will give off a smell during this first use.
Check for rust
Unlikely to be a problem with a modern stove but it’s worth checking nonetheless. If there is any rusting, it’s better to get it sorted sooner rather than later. Remove the rust with wire wool and then reapply stove paint to make your stove look as good as new.
Leave the door ajar during extended periods of non-use
If you’re not planning to use the stove for the summer or it’s going to be out of use for longer than a few days for any other reason, leave the door slightly open to encourage air flow and ventilation to help stop corrosion.
Have your chimney swept
Taking good care of your chimney and appliance helps protect against damage and chimney fires, and also helps ensure the longevity of your appliance, as well as keeping your fuel burning as efficiently as possible.
How often should my chimney be swept?
Smokeless Coal – At least once a year
Wood – Up to 4 times a year
Bituminous coal – Twice a year
A registered chimney sweep will ensure that the chimney is cleaned correctly, as well as carrying out any appropriate safety checks to the fireplace and chimney itself. If any problems are identified your sweep will be able to advise the best route for repair.
Finally, if you want more information about which is the best fuel for your appliance, visit the Coals2U Fuel Chooser by clicking here.
Heat Resistant Stove Paint - www.glowing-embers.co.uk
Stove Glass Cleaner - www.valiantfireside.com
Rope Seal Kit - www.stoveseal.co.uk
The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) - www.nacs.org.uk
The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps - www.guildofmasterchimneysweeps.co.uk