Whether you have just purchased a new stove or have an existing unit, it is important to know how to ensure you get the longest lifespan out of your unit.
Here are a few tips to help maintain your wood stove or fireplace when using it for a regular heat source.
On a weekly basis, check the firebricks to see if there are any breaks or cracks. They are still able to be used if they are cracked, however if there is a complete break or part missing then it should be replaced.
You can also check on the door gasket (the insulated rope around the door) to make sure that it is not falling apart or that is has let go from the seal. Gasket lifespan can range anywhere from 1 year to 7 or 8 years depending on the brand of gasket and how the stove is being used. To get the best seal for your gasket, it is best to use high heat silicone and leave it to dry for 24 hours if possible with the door open on the stove.
Typically, once a month the steel components of the stove should be checked to see if there is any damage or wear that needs attention. This includes the baffle on the top of the inside of the stove, rails that hold the baffle in place as well as any pins (some stoves may not have all components, depending on the brand of the unit). You can also check the insulation that is at the top of the stove to ensure that it is still in place and in good condition.
At the end of each burning season, it is important to have the stove & chimney cleaned to remove all remaining creosote. During this time, you can check over all parts of the unit to ensure everything is in good condition. If your unit has a blower, this would also be a great time to remove it and vacuum out any build up in it.