Springtime stove maintenance

After a long winter, spring is the perfect time to give your stove some TLC. Keeping up with regular maintenance will aid the longevity and efficiency of your appliance. We detail some of the checks that you can make when your stove is not in use. If you need further advice about the maintenance of your appliance, get in touch with your local HETAS Registrant.

Rope seals

Checking your door rope seals is essential routine maintenance of your stove and making sure these are intact is vital to the continued performance of your appliance. They form an airtight seal around the fire door to prevent combustion air from being drawn into the firebox. If this happens, you will have difficulty controlling the fire and burn through fuel much quicker.

The appropriate size of stove fire rope will be detailed in your manufacturer’s instructions and you can order rope kits online, or head to your local HETAS Approved Retailer.

Many stove owners replace the rope seal themselves, but it’s important to ensure you wear suitable gloves as glass rope seals and high-temperature adhesives can irritate the skin. If you don’t feel confident replacing the rope seal yourself or need further advice, contact your local HETAS Registrant.

Firebricks

Firebricks come in various shapes, sizes and materials and they can crack over time. If you see hairline cracks in your firebrick, you can continue to use your stove without replacing it. If you notice the firebrick begin to move with larger cracks or start to crumble then you will need a replacement.

Top tips for keeping your firebrick in the best condition:

  • Avoid overfiring your stove
  • Don’t throw or force fuel into the firebox
  • Burn appropriate fuel for your stove
  • Use good quality dry fuel

Baffle plates

The baffle plate also referred to as the throat plate, sits in the top of the firebox. Over time these may buckle or burn out and at this point, you should consider replacing it.

The plate should be cleared at least monthly or when recommended by the manufacturer to ensure its longevity.

Grates

Grates and grate bars bear the brunt of the heat inside a stove and will wear over time. These must be replaced at first signs of warping or thinning to avoid damage to your stove.

Carbon monoxide (CO) alarm

Check that your smoke alarm and CO alarms are in good working condition. More information on carbon monoxide awareness.

Ventilation

It’s important to ensure that ventilation is not blocked. Your stove needs the air and this helps a change of air in your home.

Remove stove ash

The HETAS Advice Hub has detailed guidance for the safe disposal of ash from your stove.

Exterior clean

You can give the exterior of your stove a good clean using a lint-free cloth or a clean shoe brush to wipe away any unwanted soot or dust. Never use a damp cloth or water as this can cause rust over time. A standard vacuum cleaner and soft brush attachments can also be used to remove traces of dust or ash. If this is done regularly it will prevent any build-up that could potentially damage the exterior of your stove.

Chimney sweeping

Regardless of what type of chimney you have, or even if it’s lined, it will still need regular sweeping.

We recommend having your chimney swept at least twice a year when burning wood and at least once a year when burning smokeless fuels. It can also depend on how much the appliance is used.

The best time to have your chimney swept is just before the heating season or after your stove has not been used for a prolonged period. If sweeping twice a year, the second time should be after the peak of the heating season.

Use your postcode to find your local approved chimney sweep.

We also recommend getting an annual service by a HETAS Registrant, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

The HETAS Advice Hub has a range of tips to help you get the most from your stove.

HETAS Ltd

HETAS, Severn House, Unit 5 Newtown Trading Estate, Green Lane, Tewkesbury, GL20 8HD