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Maintaining your wood heater will not only ensure your unit is safe, but efficient and clean burning.
AHHA recommends that the unit should be serviced at least every 12 months. A regular service will ensure the important aspects of your wood heater are functioning correctly.
The flue needs to be cleaned to make sure there is no creosote build up. Built up creosote can result in a flue fire which is extremely dangerous.
Inspecting the inside of the flue and external exit cowl for obstructions is also important. Wood fire flues operate at extremely high temperatures and making sure there are no blockages or obstructions is vital for safe operation of your unit.
It’s also important to check to make sure the installation has not been affected by wind damage or other natural events.
The flue exit cowl requires a minimum of 3 meters clearance to any obstruction. Make sure no over hanging trees or branches have grown into the clearance zone.
Visually check the inside of the unit, looking for any cracking or splitting of the firebox itself. Also ensure the cast iron or firebrick lining is intact.
Make sure the baffle plate is intact and located in its correct position.
Check the door seal, door glass seal and door latch. If the door is not sealing correctly, you may need to replace the latch or affected rope seal. Make sure the glass is intact and free of cracks.
If the unit is fitted with a fan, make sure the blades are free of debris. A vacuum cleaner can be used to remove any build up of ash and lint around the blades.
Service your heater during Spring or early Summer. This minimises the corrosive effects of creosote residue and condensation during the off-season.
Check the flue prior to each winter.
Check the condition of the heater and flue, door seals, baffles, firebricks, etc.
Check for bird nests in or near the flue system in the roof cavity.
If loose insulation has been added to the ceiling i.e. blow in cellulose, etc., check carefully that none has built up in the flue cavity clearance area.
Get an early bird service call from an experienced installer/service person – preferably one who is a member of The Australian Home Heating Association.
Your wood heater should be serviced once a year and you should have your flue cleaned regularly by your local chimney sweep.
Creosote is a by product of excess smoke generated by solid fuel combustion when the heater is not operated properly or the moisture content in the wood is too high. It can build up in the flue, restricting the flue draft and ultimately the performance of your heater. If it becomes too blocked, it can lead to a flue fire.
Whether you’re looking to install a new wood heater, require maintenance on your current wood heater, or need to talk to an expert, find a local trusted AHHA provider below.
Read all the latest news and information regarding wood heating use and regulations in Australia