Warning Sign It’s Time to Replace or Repair a Wood Stove
A wood stove is a reliable, affordable, and efficient source of home heating. Your wood stove will provide years of warmth, but like any other heating appliance, they will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Deciding whether to repair or replace the wood stove will depend on the availability of parts, cost, and condition of the stove. Here are three warning signs that it’s time to replace or repair your wood stove.
Warping is a tell-tale sign to replace a wood-burning stove. The gases created during combustion and the high temperatures in the stove can eventually cause the iron or steel frame to warp. You may notice warping along the sides and bottom of the stove as well as around the edges of the door. Warping is a serious issue because it’s an indication that the wood stove is weakening. Warping will only get worse. As the stove weakens further, the metal components will start to crack and split apart, allowing oxygen and moisture to get inside, which will reduce its ability to keep your home warm. Warping is a structural issue that cannot be repaired. Your best option is to replace the wood stove.
Door Won’t Close
The wood stove door must be completely closed for optimum efficiency. When it doesn’t close all the way, it not only reduces heating efficiency, it degrades indoor air quality and increases the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. There is a rubber gasket attached to the stove door. It forms an airtight seal when the stove door is closed. When the stove door gasket is warped or cracked, it creates gaps around the door, allowing air to enter. Replacing the door gasket is usually an easy repair if the part is readily available. There could also be other issues or damages that may require the door to be repaired or replaced. It often makes more economic sense to replace the wood stove than continually making repairs to an old stove.
Creosote is a natural by-product of combustion. It adheres to the interior of the wood stove. If the stove is not cleaned regularly, the creosote will get progressively worse. In its first stage, the creosote is a powdery substance like dust and is removed with minimal effort. As the creosote progresses into the second stage, it turns into tarry flakes. Your chimney sweep may need to use special tools and equipment to clean the wood stove thoroughly.
In its final stage, the creosote is a thick and tarry material that is extremely difficult to remove. It is also highly flammable, and there is an increased risk of a fire. A raging fire in a wood stove can cause warping and corrosion, not to mention the risk of spreading to other parts of your home. When excessive creosote cannot be removed entirely, it is time to replace the wood stove.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110