The weather is looking a little better, the kids are back in school, now is the perfect time to give your wood burning stove or multi fuel stove a service. Go on, treat it, now, before you start thinking about your holidays. With a little care it's quite easy to do and you'll be ready for the cold weather in Autumn.

We recommend getting your chimney swept first, every year over 8,000 homes in the UK have chimney fires. The main cause of chimney fires is a build up of flammable tar or creosote in the flue or lining. There are a number of reasons that creosote collects in the chimney, the main culprit is burning wet or unseasoned wood. Call your sweep, get it cleaned and ask him how to look after it in the future. The chimney sweep is a stove owners best friend.

internal diagram of a stoveSELF-SERVICE CHECKLIST:

Once the chimney is clean and clear, you can get on to the stove.

  • First, make sure the stove is cool to the touch.
  • Empty your ash pan.
  • Remove all the internal stove parts: grate, ash pan, baffle and fire bricks. Fire bricks can become brittle after use so take good care to remove these very carefully.
  • Give the grate and baffle a good scrub with a wire brush, check for damage and replace any broken parts.
  • Clean the fire bricks with a soft brush, check for damage and repair any cracks or chips using Vermiculite insulating cement. Broken fire bricks should be replaced.
  • Use a wire brush to clean inside the stove body and vacuum away any debris and soot.
  • Check the stove door, if the sealing rope is worn or damaged it will need replacing, make sure you clean the old glue from the seal groove before fitting new rope.

While your checking the door why not give the glass a good clean too? Air wash in modern stoves does a pretty good job of keeping the glass clean but many people use newspaper dipped in stove ash and rub in a circular motion, then wipe clean with a damp cloth to give the glass a sparkle.

Finally give the door hinges and door catch a drop of oil and you're all done -ready for another year of wood burning!