Many homeowners are now planning to install log burners in their houses and the reasons for this are quite varied. Some want to save money by installing cheap log burners and burning cheap firewood and some are just attracted to the flickering flames and the smell of burning wood. There is also a growing awareness amongst people of the environmental issues and the impact that we make by burning fossil fuels. Due to this, there is an urge to go back to basics and get away from the trappings of modern consumerist society.
Homeowners also realise that a well-chosen high-quality wood-burning stove brings pleasure, comfort and warmth year after year with the added benefit to the environment. However, before setting up a burner, you need to know a few basics on its upkeep and maintenance.
It is important to take proper care of modern log burners if you want them to serve you for a long time, work efficiently and be safe to use. There are professional installers who will carry out periodical maintenance work on contemporary log burners but knowing a few maintenance tips yourself would be quite useful.
The chimney of a wood-burning heater should be cleaned once or twice a year without fail. This will help prevent soot build up- a major fire hazard. You also need to check the chimney regularly. If there are gaps, then there may be smoke leaking into the house making the chimney unsuitable for use. You can use smoke pellets to check for leaks.
The doors of these burners should be airtight; this will ensure optimum performance. Doors that leak smoke can be fixed by replacing door seals/gaskets. Similarly, the glass of modern log burners can also be replaced if they are damaged. The glass for wood burners are specially built to withstand the heat of burning wood and does not get damaged easily. However, over a period of use, they may show signs of wear and tear.
The floor of contemporary log burners consists of a fire grate on top of which wood logs, rolls of paper and kindle are used to start a fire. The grate is designed to withstand high temperatures but again, this too wears out over time and needs to be replaced. Similarly, the inside of the firebox area is fitted with baffle plates made of ceramic fibreboard, steel or cast iron and are manufactured to withstand high temperatures. You will also want to check whether these are operating efficiently from time to time.
Before carrying out any maintenance work on your burner, make sure that all the parts have cooled down completely.