When you are not going to use your stove for an extended period, for example at the end of the heating season, then some basic precautions need to undertaken after it has been serviced and the chimney and flue swept.
- Completely remove any ash or unburned fuel from the fire grate and ash pan and any soot build-up that may have occurred on top of the stove's baffle plate as this may attract condensation and moisture.
- Either leave the stove door slightly ajar or to minimise potential drafts then keep the door closed, but ensure that the primary air and secondary air controls are at least half way open. This will allow the free circulation of air throughout the stove which will help limit any excessive condensation build-up inside the stove or flue system with its potentially corrosive effect on the stove's components.
- If the stove is located in a holiday home which is not used during the very cold Winter months then it may also be worthwhile very lightly oiling (with machine oil) the internal components and bodywork outer surfaces to help keep the build-up of moisture at bay. Remember, that when you re-light the stove later on there may be some fumes created as the light oil 'burns' off, therefore always ensure that the room is well ventilated until any fumes have been cleared. When standing down in the Winter it is also advisable to leave the stove door slightly ajar to help limit the potential for the stove glass to break due to thermal shock caused by the extreme temperature differences inside the stove / flue system and the room. Incidentally, we had a customer who, when he returned to his French holiday home each time in the Spring, would find his stove glass broken, so it may also be worthwhile providing some additional protection for the stove glass in these instances.
Geoff Royle is our Head of Marketing. He is heavily involved in the Stove Industry and represents WBS and The Stove Yard in the Stove Industry Alliance. Geoff also has recently joined the Hetas Technical Committee and is looking forward to discussing in detail all future stove, flue and installation legislation.