End of burning season, what should I do?

It is not too early to start thinking about what to do at the end of the wood burning season.  Your stove and fireplace system have been in service since the early fall and there are several reasons to develop your plan for chimney service at the end of the burning season.

Woodstoves and fireplaces have deposits of soot and creosote that can be both a flammable and corrosive agent in your wood burning systems. This year plan on having your chimney serviced as soon as you decide you are finished burning for the season.

Removing the products of combustion in the spring is both a safety as well as an odor preventive issue.  In the case of a pellet stove, having your system serviced in the spring can prevent any remaining pellet fuel from absorbing moisture, swelling, clogging the auger and rusting the hopper. Having the internal vents of your pellet stove cleaned can insure you will be ready for your next stove use.

Fireplaces, stoves and chimneys need to be cleaned and inspected early in the spring to discover any damage that needs repair and to ensure your chimney has a cap to keep out nesting animals.

Now is the time to consider ordering your next season’s wood supply.  Have it delivered, stacked and covered so by the time the fall season approaches, your wood will be dry and ready for use.

If you didn’t ask your chimney sweep to forward schedule your spring cleaning already, now would be the best time to get your inspection and cleaning appointment for the spring at the lowest price of the season.  Having this service early in the year not only saves money, it can allow time for any additional services needed so you won’t be on a waiting list in the fall.

This last year saw record increases in wood burning for homeowners.  Having the benefit of wood or pellet stove heat has been a significant savings for many households over other types of fuel. 

However, with this increased use, the Environmental Protection Agency is considering new regulations for wood and pellet stoves.  Homeowners should consider swapping out their older non-EPA Certified stove for a new EPA Certified stove.  Many manufacturers are offering huge savings for trading in the older inefficient stove models and replacing them with less polluting models.

Having your stove installation improved for efficiency by installing the correct size stove for your heating needs and venting it into your chimney properly can result in a cleaner burning stove and fuel savings. Learn and practice good burning habits by only burning properly dried wood.

This year take the time to plan your burning needs early in the spring. You will save money and preserve wood burning for all to enjoy in the future. 

Your chimney sweep can help with even more ideas for your end of burning plan.  Check with the list of chimney pros on this site.

~ Dave Hannah

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