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Tips and tricks for winter maintenance of your wood stoves in Ottawa.

Take Care of Your Wood Stoves in Ottawa So You Can Stay Warm This Winter

Winter is here, and if you’re one of the lucky Ottawa residents with a wood stove, you are probably keeping your home toasty right now. Wood stoves in Ottawa are excellent sources of heat during our frigid, long winters. But if your stove becomes dirty or damaged, it won’t work as well, and it will also pose a fire safety risk.

So, to keep your wood stove safe, working well, and warming your home all winter, consider these simple wood stove repair and maintenance tips.

Check Grates

When the grate on a wood stove becomes jammed, or won’t fit properly anymore, check for damage or warping. If you are unable to reshape or repair the grate on your own, you’re better off buying a replacement grate. Make sure the new grate is the right size and is fitted properly so it won’t risk becoming unhinged.

Inspect Door Seals

Overtime, door seals can become ineffective. When your wood stove is not in use and has cooled down, check for any gaps between the seals and the door. Place a piece of paper between the open door and seal before closing the door. If the paper is firmly stuck between the two when you pull it, then your seal is working well. But if you can easily pull out the paper, you will need to replace the seal.

Clean Regularly

When cool, regularly clean the interior of your wood stove, including the vents, to remove the buildup of ash, debris, and deposits left from burning wood. Once clean, you can inspect for damage, such as holes in the pan or cracks in the glass. Regular cleaning and replacing damaged parts will ensure your stove works well and safely at all times.

Remove Rust

If you notice rust, make sure to remove it before it worsens. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to scrub off the rust. Then seal the area with a heat-resistant paint or polish that matches your wood stove.

Replace Damaged Bricks

While cracks in your bricks may not seem to affect your wood stove, this damage can actually cause the wood stove to shift, become damaged, and not work effectively. So make sure to replace any damaged bricks with the same type of bricks, and use fire cement to hold them in place.

Sweep the Chimney

If you feel comfortable getting up on your roof, you can clean the chimney yourself using these steps:

  1. Take apart the stack—remove the screws from the middle of your stove pipe and slide the bottom part up so you can fit a bucket underneath it;
  2. Once on your roof, remove the chimney cap—you may need to remove several screws first;
  3. Run a chimney brush down your chimney, scrubbing with each push down;
  4. Then scrub as your bring the brush back up, and repeat scrubbing up and down as needed;
  5. Go back inside and empty the bucket;
  6. Vacuum the top of your stove to remove any ash or creosote; and,
  7. Reassemble the stove pipe and stack.

If you do not feel comfortable going up on your roof, hire a professional chimney sweep. Your chimney should be cleaned before use this winter to avoid chimney fires.

Contact your local Ottawa wood stove supplier for help finding replacement parts, and keep your wood stove in top condition so it will work well warming your home all winter long.