It’s that time of year again; the air is getting colder and the days are shorter. Many homeowners with wood burning stoves are excited by this change because they can finally fire up their wood burning stoves. Wood burning stoves are not only practical, but also represent a wonderful time of the year. They bring warmth and cause families to gather around them. Their soothing crackle and entrancing flame draw people in. They are typically more affordable and eco-friendly than a fireplace, and allow people to save on their central home heating. Although wood stoves bring a great deal of happiness to most homes, they can present just as many dangers as classic fireplaces.
How Wood Stoves Work
To understand why wood stoves need to be cleaned, we need to understand how they work. EPA Certified wood burning stoves use catalytic combustion to produce heat more efficiently than regular wood stoves. A secondary air intake vent is featured on EPA Certified stoves. This vent introduces air into the hottest part of the stove, allowing it to burn gases that would have otherwise escaped through the chimney. EPA Certified stoves also feature a catalytic converter, similar to a car. As gases pass through the converter, it forces them to burn at a lower temperature than they normally would. These two processes combined produce more heat and less pollution.
Why Wood Stoves Need Regular Cleanings
Although wood stoves and fireplaces have many differences, their need to be cleaned regularly is the same. As fireplaces have chimneys, wood burning stoves have stovepipes that run vertically and release gases outside of the home. Sometimes, wood burning stoves may even utilize an existing chimney to run the stovepipe through. Burning wood creates soot, which will build up to creosote if not addressed. Creosote is an extremely flammable substance caused by chemicals released during the burning process. Obstructions such as animals, debris and trash, can also be found inside of a stovepipe. When you have a CSIA Certified professional clean and inspect your chimney they will check for any obstructions as well as look for any cracks, leaks, warping, or baffle gaps. These will all directly affect the performance of your chimney and how efficiently it runs. Making sure the construction of your wood burning stove is sound will help you keep more money in your pocket over the winter months, but more importantly, it will help protect you against dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning. For example, when your chimney door doesn’t seal properly or there are cracks in the stove itself, carbon monoxide can be forced back into your home, creating a very dangerous situation for your family.
Protect your family this winter by having your wood burning stove inspected and cleaned by a certified professional. Not only will your stove run more efficiently, but you will also be able to rest easy knowing your stove is safe for use. If you haven’t had your wood burning stove inspected this year, give us a call today to set up an appointment!