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Warm Weather Burning and Cleaning Wood Burning Appliances

As weather warms up burning wood to heat your home becomes more of a challenge to regulate how warm your home gets.

Burning Dry Small

Burning dry small pieces of soft wood, loosely stacked will create a flash fire and burn out quickly with little coal to linger and keep creating heat. This will allow for the flu to get hot enough to off burn gases and not allow creosote to build up in your chimney. Also the amount of ashes in your firebox can affect whether this technique for laying firewood produces the desired results. If there is too much ash, the fire cannot get sufficient amount of air. Leave some ashes as it provides some insulation along with your firebricks.

After the Heating Season

When the heating season is over, it is time to clean and inspect your wood burning appliance along with your chimney so if any repairs need to be done, you have time to complete them before the next heating season. First start by thoroughly cleaning your chimney with a brush to remove corrosive creosote buildup. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, call in a chimney sweep.

Next empty your ashes and clean your fire box, making sure to put in a safe container, embers can be warm for several days after the last fire, then vacuum with shop vac with a fine dust filter. While in the firebox inspect and replace any broken firebricks or baffles as they protect the steel firebox from overheating and warping improving the life of your appliance. Check the door seals and change the gaskets if they feel crunchy and have lost their spring. They are meant to create a tight seal around door and keep air out for better control and efficiency. If the fire is burning hotter than usual on the same damper setting, or your glass is getting dirtier than usual, then gaskets may be the culprit.

Finally clean your glass using cleaner dedicated for wood burning fireplaces. Just a last note, make sure that the cap on your chimney is in good repair to keep any critters from making a nest creating problems when you go to start a fire in the fall.