One of the best things about buying a wood burning stove for your home is that it really is an excellent investment!
A good stove will bring you cosy warm nights for many years to come, while also helping you rely less on the ever-rising costs of central heating systems.
But, must all good things come to an end?
While wood burners are incredibly durable and shouldn’t need replacing too often, they still have a lifespan. In fact, there are a few warning signs you should be looking out for to know when it’s time to invest in a shiny new replacement.
If you are looking to upgrade your wood burner, don’t forget to check out our stove scrappage scheme!
What is the lifespan of a wood burning stove?
A good quality wood burning stove is said to be able to last 10 – 20 years, with some people even claiming they’ve had the same one for 40+ years!
But, we think this is only half the story.
Yes, when well-maintained, a log burner can continue to be used for as long as a few decades. The question is though, should they be?
Are new wood stoves more efficient?
If you are holding onto an old wood burner that you have had for 20 years, the chances are that it is highly inefficient.
In fact, it has been shown that a stove manufactured 10 or more years ago produces 80% more emissions than an Ecodesign stove produced today.
Yes, older stoves are nowhere near as clean as newer models. But, not only are they dirtier and create more air pollution, they will also cost you more to run, too.
Today’s best performing stoves can be up to 90% efficient, meaning you get more heat for your room with as little fuel possible. Continuing to use an old stove can therefore be something of a false economy – you are having to buy more fuel, and maybe even resorting to your central heating system to boost the heat.
Often, it is actually more economical and wiser to replace your old stove for a more efficient new one that best prepares you for the future.
Signs that your wood burning stove needs replacing…
So, onto the question of “when should I replace my wood burning stove?”
As we have already mentioned, if your stove is over 10 years old, it’s a good time to consider investing in a new Ecodesign model.
But, there are other signs to look out for, too.
If you are noticing any changes in the performance of your wood burning stove, this could be an indication that it’s not working quite as it should anymore.
Before you go any further, it’s always important to check your chimney or flue, first! Blockages can also cause excess smoke and difficulties lighting your fire, so get it inspected and swept if you suspect something is wrong.
Flue all fine? Then check out these signs that it might be time to buy a new wood burning stove…
Your stove body appears warped
This is a huge telltale sign that your stove has had its day!
When new, the surface of your stove should be smooth, with no bumps or indents in it. While both steel and cast iron stoves are incredibly durable and can withstand extremely high temperatures, time can take its toll. After a decade or so, the metal may begin to warp, especially if you overfire it.
This is a problem as it means either more or less air will find its way into the stove than it was originally designed for. As a result, the efficiency and performance of your stove will be affected.
Not only this, but if the outside of your stove has warped, where else may damage be lurking? It might be best to invest in a new one!
Other signs of damage such as rust or cracks
Warped metal isn’t the only sign of damage you might spot in your stove. Rust and cracks are the last thing you want to see on either the inside or outside of your wood burner.
It’s not completely unusual for stove owners to find the odd patch of rust. It can occur when the stove hasn’t been used for a long period of time. Without a fire to evaporate it, rain water and condensation can cause pesky rust to form.
You can easily buff away the odd patch of surface rust. But, if it begins to eat too far into the structure of the stove, this is a serious red flag.
Similarly, if you spot any cracks in your stove you should stop using it right away. Dangerous fumes may be able to leak out of it, not to mention the serious fire hazard it could pose. Cracks can sometimes be repaired, but more often than not replacing your stove is the safest option – especially if it is already old.
Your wood burner is producing more smoke and dirt
If your wood burning stove is producing a heavy amount of smoke, dust and ash, something is wrong.
A healthy stove should be able to produce an efficient fire that burns cleanly and efficiently.
Older stove designs didn’t have the knowledge and technology we have today, so they are typically dirtier, even when working properly.
However, if you are noticing even more smoke than usual coming from your stove, you need to investigate. If you haven’t changed the way you use your stove at all – a change of wood, it’s not colder than usual, your chimney is still regularly swept, for example – it could be time to replace it.
Overtime, the inner working parts of your wood burner can also warp and become damaged, which can seriously affect its performance. Excess smoke will also dirty your chimney, causing your further problems down the line, not to mention that it will reduce the amount of heat your fire can produce.
Related: Why is My Wood Burner Smoking?
You’re using more fuel for less heat
Where you once used to be able to heat your whole room up with just so few logs, you might now find that you are constantly throwing in more fuel to no avail.
This is yet another sign that your stove’s performance has been affected by time and wear. Usually, the issue here is that your fire is burning too hot, meaning that it eats through fuel and burns out too quickly. Warping of the metal may have caused this or even a leak somewhere.
So, don’t wait until your stove is already causing you problems.
Upgrading to a newer, more efficient stove will be the best way to bring the heat back to your room today!
Time to replace your old wood burner? Take a look at our excellent range of stoves online now – free delivery & finance options available!
You might also like these posts from the Direct Stoves Blog…