Now is the time to prepare your wood burner

On the face of it, summer seems like an odd time to set about preparing a wood-burning stove for use, but it actually makes perfect sense. Making arrangements now ensures the stove will be ready to light before it is called upon to heat the house full time. Now is also the time to take advantage of the significant price reductions on offer.

There are a number of actions you can take that will prepare the stove for the heavier use it will inevitably receive as the months get colder in autumn and the winter. They include:

  • Ensure you keep the chimney sweeping certificates.

  • Check all door seals are still creating a full seal.

  • Check all the internal insulation boards (vermiculite sets) have not cracked during winter use.

  • Clean out internal and external air vents using a vacuum cleaner or pipe cleaners.

  • Clean the glass door, inside and out, with an approved stove glass cleaner.

  • Vacuum out and test carbon monoxide alarms.

  • Remake fire cement joints which may have cracked during the winter.

  • Use a pair of binoculars to look at the external flue; check that rain caps are still in good condition and that legs have not broken off.

  • Sort out your wood supply for next year. Re-pack the woodshed to ensure that wood is off the ground, (a wooden pallet can be used for this), facing the sun and open to drying winds. Also check the woodshed roof for any leaks. ‘Stock rotation’ of existing wood can ensure that you use in the correct order next winter.

  • If you need to order in more fuel, you will generally be offered a more reasonable price in the summer.

  • Don’t forget that a wood fire should burn on a bed of ash so don’t clean the stove out too thoroughly!

  • Keep an eye on your flue/chimney. If you see birds, squirrels or insects attempting to nest, call in an expert.

  • Book your chimney sweep ready for the autumn.


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