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Monday, February 15, 2016

Baby It’s Cold Outside! Optimize Your Wood Stove Experience

The temperatures have dropped and it is freezing outside!  At least it is where we are.  This is when it is especially important to optimize your wood stove, to get maximum heat and enjoyment for minimal wood usage.

To really get the utmost benefits from your Woodstock Soapstone Stove, it is important to make sure the following maintenance and precautions have been done: 
  • The pipe needs to be clean.
  • Chimney cap (if you have one) needs to be free from obstruction.
  • Combustor needs to be clean.  Vacuum all sides.  If you have a stainless steel combustor, you can spray the combustor with a solution of 50% distilled water and 50% white vinegar.  Let it drain, then rinse well with clear distilled water and let dry completely before putting the combustor back into your stove.  Using the vinegar solution may help to clean baked on fly ash.  You can learn more about cleaning your Progress Hybrid combustor here, the Fireview combustor cleaning information is here, and the instructions for cleaning your combustor if you have a Keystone or Palladian stove is here.
  • The ash pan should be clean, and the bottom of the stove should not have too much ash.  
  • Wood should be dry.  For the best heat output from your stove, wood should be well seasoned. Most wood will take one to two years split and stacked, and covered on the top (tarp or other protection) to dry properly.  If your wood is not dry, you will find much of the heat your stove is generating will be absorbed by burning off the moisture in your wood.  If your wood is not as dry as you would like, mix it with kiln dried, or with compressed wood chip logs (available at most hardware stores, lumber yards or home/garden centers in the heating season), or you may need to leave your air setting open a bit more for more heat in the firebox.   
  • Check your gaskets (when the stove is not hot).  If you think your stove is getting too hot, check your gaskets for leaks.  This is a primary cause for your stove to overfire.  The paper test is an easy test to check the door gaskets.  Simply take a strip of regular paper, put it into the side of the door.  Close the door.  If you can easily slide the paper out, you need new door gaskets, or perhaps you need to adjust the door latch.
Progress Hybrid

Now that your stove is in prime condition, and your wood is in good condition, it is time to sit back and enjoy the dancing flame show that only a Woodstock Soapstone Stove can give.

Pour your favorite beverage, or perhaps put a pot of cider on the top of your stove (a little cinnamon never hurts) and you can enjoy a tasty beverage and wonderful smells while you watch your light show.