Having a wood stove in your home can be a great energy source that keeps both your home warmer and rooms bursting with light and ambiance. However, when not properly maintained, a wood stove can also be a huge potential hazard for all types of dangers to those living or visiting in your home.
So to help ensure that you don’t wind up with a very negative outcome from using your wood burning fireplace, here are three tips for maintaining the wood stove you have in your home.
Perform Annual Inspections And Cleanings
Before you start using your wood burning stove at the beginning of the cold season, you’re going to want to ensure that it’s safe for you to be using in the first place.
To do this, Jeff Wilson, a contributor to DIYNetwork.com, recommends that you get your wood stove inspected and properly cleaned annually. If you’re familiar with this, you can take on this work yourself. But if you’d rather be safe than sorry, it’s generally best to hire a professional to take care of this work.
Because inspecting and cleaning a wood stove and fireplace can be dangerous, both during the time of the maintenance and throughout the time of using it. This is usually the case for both plain wood fireplaces and gas log fireplaces, so it’s often best to just schedule regular maintenance with a professional before it starts getting too cold in your area each year.
Be Careful With Smoke And Other Toxic Gases
One of the biggest hazards with having a wood stove, aside from fire hazards, as the smoke and other toxic gases that could fill your home as a result of improperly using your fireplace.
To combat this, HomeAdvisor.com recommends that you try to always create fires that will be small and hot within the fireplace. This will help ensure that fewer gases are being burned and that you’ll have less of a chance for lower air quality within your home. And to best protect yourself against this, make sure you always have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home.
Only Burn Wood That’s Been Properly Stored
Not only do you need to be concerned about the wood stove itself, but you also need to make sure you’re using the right firewood as fuel.
As a good rule of thumb, the staff of DoItYourself.com recommends that you only burn wood that’s completely dry and has been split for at least six months. This will ensure that the wood is thoroughly dry, as long as you’ve been storing it properly. As for the storage, you’ll want to make sure that there’s good ventilation around the pieces and that it’s covered from the elements if kept outside.
If you’re unsure about the best ways to maintain your wood stove, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you safely use and maintain your wood burning fireplace.