Your wood stove has seen you through the cold winter, as well as the rainy spring evenings when the temperatures have dropped. Soon, summer will arrive in South Africa, bringing with it endlessly hot days and warm nights. Needless to say, once summer arrives, you may not use your fireplace quite as often. Luckily in Cape Town, it is not uncommon to enjoy the odd respite from summer, so you may get to fire up the fireplace occasionally.
For the most part however, just because your wood stove is not on duty, it doesn’t mean it will sit there gathering dust, either.
Maintaining Your Wood Stove When it’s Not in Use
Some tips to keep in mind to ensure that you can maintain and enjoy your wood stove even when it’s not in use include the following:
- Cleaning your fireplace
Throughout winter, you kept your fireplace mostly clean and free of too much ash. Closed combustion fireplaces are typically easier to clean, with little to no ash overflow. This is because the wood burns at a much higher temperature than it would in an open fireplace. Instead of having lumps of burned wood, ash and coal, all you have once the fire is out is a fine layer of ash. This can easily be removed with a metal scoop, or, in the case of Hydrofire fireplaces, you can simply push the ash through the grid into the ash tray. Once you stop using it on a daily basis, you can do a thorough clean. It is a good idea to keep the door and air vents open when not in use, as this will prevent condensation within the fireplace. Our useful guide on how to clean a wood burning fireplace will give you a full list of tips on how to keep your fireplace clean. At Hydrofire, we also sell an organic, non-toxic glass cleaner that is made especially for this type of fireplace.
- Clearing the chimney
In addition to the fireplace itself, it’s also a good idea to do a scheduled chimney clean during the spring and summer months when the fireplace is not being used as much. This should be done by a professional to ensure that the job is done properly and safely. As wood burns, a substance known as creosote remains in the chimney flue. Often used as a preservative, this tar-like substance is extremely flammable. It is essential to prevent a build-up of creosote after periods of use in order to prevent the very real risk of house fires. Having a professional fireplace and chimney cleaner do a full clean once a year will help to keep your fireplace in good working order and prevent the risk of creosote residue.
- Styling an un-used fireplace
Just because the fireplace is not being actively used, it doesn’t mean it won’t still look good in your home. Closed fireplaces are different to traditional fireplaces in that they lack mantels (although many of our customers choose to install built-in fireplaces within a mock mantel). You can still style your fireplace according to the seasons. When it is not in use, the panel on built-in fireplaces can be used to display artwork or festive cards. As there is no risk of heat, you can also place indoor plants on or around free-standing fireplaces. With their stylish, modern design, a wood stove will always look better than a cumbersome heater. How you style yours is entirely up to your imagination!
Interested in learning more about our range of wood stove options? View our full collection of fireplaces to view our free-standing, built-in and premium ranges today!