As the days of summer continue to heat up, thoughts of preparation for the autumn and winter seasons may be far from your mind. However, being prepared for the colder months ahead can be crucial, especially for those with wood burning stoves.
Leading biomass and solid fuel heating organisation HETAS is encouraging homeowners to use this time to prepare for the coming winter season. Whilst summer is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors and spend less time worrying about heating the home, it’s also the ideal time to stock up on wood, ensure you are storing it correctly, book in an annual chimney sweep and service and undertake all the essential maintenance checks to aid the longevity and efficiency of your appliance.
Here’s some advice to ensure your stove is in the best condition:
- Inspect the rope seals and check the firebricks: Overtime these can show signs of wear and tear so may need replacing or repair to maintain optimal efficiency and safety. A regular annual service carried out by a professional will identify any remedial works needed
- Book a sweep: Schedule a professional chimney sweep and stove service to remove any build up and ensure your stove works as efficiently as possible. A clean and clear chimney promotes sufficient ventilation and reduces the risk of chimney fires. You can search on the HETAS website to find a registered business close to your postcode
- Clean your glass: To keep your glass clear, use a cleaning pad specifically made for stove glass and wipe away any residue until the glass clears
- Tidy up the exterior: Use a soft brush and vacuum cleaner to remove any ash, soot or debris from the stove’s exterior
- Don’t forget to check your carbon monoxide (CO) alarm is in good working order: Be sure to test them regularly and replace batteries if needed. If you’re unsure on the condition or location of your alarm, contact a HETAS registered installer to check you are compliant and safe.
Here’s some quick tips on storing your wood correctly over the summer months:
- Select the right location: Ensure your wood is stored in a dry and well-ventilated area. Ideally, use a purpose-built log store or a covered area that allows air circulation while protecting the wood from the elements
- Elevate the wood: Place the wood on a raised surface and keep it off the ground. This prevents the wood from absorbing moisture from soil for example
- Stack wood properly: Assemble your logs in a crisscross or interlocking pattern to allow for better airflow and promote drying
Don’t forget, if you’re using freshly cut wood, it will need time to dry or ‘season’ before it can be burned efficiently. By looking out for the Ready to Burn logo, you can be sure that the wood is certified and has a moisture content of less than 20%, resulting in less emissions being admitted from your appliance.
For more tips and advice to ensure a cosy, hassle-free autumn and winter, visit hetas.co.uk.