Have the stove fitted correctly….. Even if you have not had it installed according to the instructions on the installation page, it can still be done.
If you are thinking about putting in a new stove with back boiler to heat radiators, be careful that you have enough fuel to feed such a device. Two or three logs in an evening is not going to heat radiators, and give enough warmth to the room. We are all to often asked what our biggest stove is to do such work, but after dicussing with clients their real need, it is regularly found that fuel isn’t readily available, and in the evenings after a hard day at work and relaxing in the living room, then perhaps a dry stove giving plenty of radiant heat to the room would be more practical, and if required a small domestic boiler can be fitted to help with hot water for the bath etc.
Stoves bigger than 5KW output require additional ventilation to the room. This is not because the building inspector is being a pain in the neck, but because the stove requires oxygen to feed the combustion process. In modern homes, which are striving for air tightness, this can be starved, and a depletion of oxygen can be dangerous. Carbon Monoxide can become a real threat in these situations. If you have to use a bigger stove, then a vent is important, so it is an idea to look at a stove such as the Clearview range that can have this air ducted directly into the stove, otherwise the room can have draughts from ventilation grills.
If you burn just wood on a fire, the fine ash can be used on damp newspaper or kitchen towel to clean the stubborn marks off the glass of your stove. Coal ash can be abrasive so be careful. The reaction of water and ash mixed produces a substance called lye, or potassium hydroxide. This is the very same solution supplied in bottles and sold to us by the manufacturers of stoves as glass cleaner. Now is that a con or what? The word Potassium comes from the word potash, which is an alkaline material extracted in a pot from the ash of wood or leaves.
Empty ash regularly. Using an ash caddy or vacuum attachment will keep dust down
Ensure the rope seals on your stove are tight. The clever features on teh Clearview door handle and hinge ensure this is easily done. If you find fuel burning away too quickly or the stove is producing excessive heat, then ensure it is not getting more air than you wish it to.
Before refueling, brighten the fire by increasing air. Once refueled, allow it to continue to burn for a couple of minutes before turning down… this will help prevent firebox explosions, which occur when fresh fuel traps volatile gasses between it and a red fire bed. In extreme cases the glass of the stoves has been known to shatter.
BURN DRY FUEL… Anything with moisture will introduce steam into the flue system, and cause serious accumulation of soot and creosote.
When the stove is not used for long periods of time, make sure the door of the unit is left slightly open to allow a circulation of air throughout the flue, otherwise the condensation can cause damp, leading to structural damage and a problem relighting.
Don’t store wood too close to a working stove. Wood has been known to dry out, fall against the side of the stove and ignite.
In the event of a chimney fire, make sure the door and air vents of the unit are closed, along with doors and windows to the room. The fire brigade should be called, as the tar-like deposit from wood that forms in the chimney can burn at extremely high temperatures and ultimately cause structural damage.
Your stove should be vented from the top when possible. Heat will naturally want to rise, and any bends in a flue will only slow down the velocity of the combustion gasses. Venting from the back of the stove should only be done as a last resort, and only using a T section. Any other kind of bend will cause a build up of fly ash and soot deposit, and reduce the cross section of flue allowing the gasses to escape.
IF SOMEONE ELSE IS FITTING A STOVE OTHER THAN A REGISTERED CHIMNEY TECHNICIAN, remember that we need access into the flue to sweep. You may find it hard to believe, but we were recently called to sweep the flue of a stove fitted to the home of a prominent stove retailer in County Down. Because of the design of the stove we were not able to gain access to sweep the chimney through the stove. Their “approved installer” had not taken into account that an access door needed to be fitted to the flue pipe to enable the flue to be swept. This is also the case if the stove has a boiler incorporated in it. Venting a stove from the rear will mean we either have to have an access door somewhere else in the flue too.