Maintenance for Wood Burning Heat Sources
Maintaining a wood fireplace requires weekly attention to keep the ashes cleared out to avoid excess smoke and dust. This is vital because any wind coming down the chimney will spread ashes all over the room. The chimney needs to have creosote, soot, and any debris cleaned out every six months for safety. A wood burning stove or wood heater requires less maintenance and is actually more efficient than using a traditional fireplace.
Stoves and Heaters
Wood burning stoves and heaters are easier to keep clean and safe because they do not have to be vented to the outside through the chimney. Stoves and heaters should be cleaned every two weeks, or definitely no less than once a month. This practice maximizes safety and efficiency.
Follow cleaning instructions carefully to avoid making a mess. No one wants to have to clean the entire room immediately after cleaning the heater. Wear old clothes because you will get dirty. Wear a dust mask to prevent ash and dust from invading the lungs. A chimney sweep can also be called by those who would prefer not to do it themselves.
Free Standing Heaters
These are the easiest alternative heat sources to keep clean. They should be thoroughly cleaned at least one or twice a year by a professional. In between those scheduled cleanings, simply remove ashes from the ash tray.
Of all the types of australian made wood heaters, the free standing models are the most convenient. Some are small, which is ideal for apartments or work sheds. These units utilize zero utilities so they are perfect for staying warm during blizzards and extended power outages. Most have a space for cooking at the top so heating up meals is also possible with no electricity.
It is important to keep a fire extinguisher near any wood burning unit for an extra layer of safety. Embers can be spread outside the unit if the wood shifts dramatically while burning. Logs can roll out when the door is opened to add more wood. Flames can suddenly shoot out of the top and land on the furniture or carpet. These are uncommon, but being prepared is wise.
There is nothing like the sight and smell of wood burning to make a home coy and inviting. Whichever wood burning alternative is selected will create that type of warmth and atmosphere. Maintaining units properly ensures that the family can remain warm and be safe while enjoying the fire.