A wood burner stove not only brings warmth and character to a room - it’s also a great way to reduce your heating bills.

To get the best performance from your wood burner stove, you should follow the instructions for your particular model. General maintenance is usually straightforward, and by keeping your wood burner in good condition, you’ll get the best from it.

woodburner stove in fireplace

Clean your flue and stove

By cleaning your stove and flue regularly, you’ll keep them clear of soot, creosote and ash. This extends the lifetime of your stove and flue, improves their efficiency, and helps to prevent any fire hazards.

You should consult the maintenance instructions for your type of wood burner as each model is different. The way you clean your stove and flue will depend on the kind of wood burner stove you have installed.

For most wood burners, maintenance is fairly simple. The chimney or flue should be cleaned once or twice a year to ensure it’s clear of dirt and blockages. If you use the correct type of wood for your wood burner, and regularly clean the ash from the pan, very little else is required.

Sweep the chimney

How frequently you sweep a chimney tends to depend on the type of fuel you’re burning. If you’re burning wood or bituminous housed coal, you should sweep your chimney at least twice a year. And, if you’re burning smokeless fuels, at least once a year.

It’s useful to get your chimney swept before the cold weather sets in. You may not have used your wood burner for a while, so it’s worth getting the chimney cleaned before you start to fire it up again on a regular basis.

You could also clean your chimney once winter is over as the stove is not going to be used again for a while.

Maintain permanent ventilators

Another crucial factor in the performance of wood burning stoves is ventilation. The installer of your wood burner stove can advise on ventilation rates and the best position for the vent. Essentially, rates are based on the air permeability of your house and the rated output of the stove.

You should regularly check that your vents are free from obstruction. Blockages can sometimes be caused by accumulated dust, plant debris or insect nests. Any obstruction should be cleared immediately as it can pose a health risk – and you will fail to comply with Building Regulations.

Take advice from a HETAS registered wood burner stove installer

HETAS is the official body recognised by the Government that approves solid fuel heating appliances, including the registration of competent installers. A HETAS registered stove installer has the experience of installing different types of stoves and will be able to make recommendations on every aspect of your wood burning stove including ventilation and other health and safety issues.

Would you like to find out more about wood burner stoves?

If you’re considering installing a wood burner or multi-fuel stove and would like advice, contact Peter Capaldi, owner of HGS Home & Garden, on 07749 863650.

Peter is a HETAS registered engineer. He can provide practical advice to help you choose the wood burner stove that’s right for you and your home.