Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for a Wood Burner Stove
When it comes to wood stoves, there is more to it than just lighting a fire in inside and let it produce heat. It needs to be cleaned and maintained in order for proper use and safety. We will discuss what needs to be maintained, what needs to be cleaned, how often and more.
All Cubic mini wood stoves are lined with a ceramic fiber board. This board reflects heat back into the fire box allowing the secondary combustion system to kick in quicker and radiate heat over a longer period of time. They do degrade over time, and degradation of the insulation will depend on how they are treated. They will degrade quicker if the wood is thrown in as opposed to placed, also if the wood is cut too long then it has the chance of chipping it. Aggressive cleaning can also damage them quicker. The life span of the insulation can be anywhere between 6 months to a year and half. At which time they would need to be replaced. And we have replacement kits on the website for each stove.
When it comes to cleaning, there are two primary things that need to be cleaned regularly. The fire box when it gets filled with ash, and the pipe when creosote starts to build up. Normally the stove should achieve total combustion, turning the coal and ash to dust, when this builds up, the ash that collects on the bottom would have to be removed every so often. Do so once cold. This can be done with the shovel that comes with the tool kit we offer, or another method of your choice.
The flue pipe will also need to be cleaned. The pipe gets dirty by the particles produced by the burning wood. This is known as creosote. Creosote has 3 degrees. The first degree and second are the easiest to clean, it is dusty and flaky. The third degree is the hardest to clean which is like a tar like substance. Creosote is produced when the smoked condenses and sticks to any cold surface. The idea is to keep the pipe as hot as possible in order to prevent the gases from condensing. This is why we suggest to use a double wall flue pipe in order to keep the pipe carrying the gas from touching the air in the room.
Due to the physics of a 3” pipe we suggest to check the pipe after 1 week of use. If clean then you can keep using your stove. Check it weekly until you see it needs to be cleaned. This will establish your rate of buildup and your cleaning schedule based on the wood you burn, how you set the stove, the weather outside, and your flue system, among other factors. To clean the pipe; first remove the plates found at the top of the fire box. Do so by loosening the screws. This will allow you push the plates up and they will then be able to come down. Then go to the cap and remove it as well. Once removed you can push a 3” brush down the pipe (from cap to stove). Do so until the pipe is clean. Place the plates back as found, and the cap as well. You can then scoop the junk out the stove and then use it once again.
You can use a 3” brush found at most hardware stores, and you would need to acquire the number of handles it takes to achieve the length of your flue system. If the plastic brush does not do the job (most times it does) you can get a 3” metal brush, easily found online. And that would clean what the plastic brush could not. But this is only in extreme cases.
The last thing to keep clean would be the window. The window is a self-cleaning glass that cleans itself once it gets up to temperature. To keep the glass as clean as possible, rake the coals forward and place the new wood towards the back. This will allow for the glass to stay clean longer.
Aside from the insulation and the flue pipe. There is not much else that requires cleaning or maintenance. I hope this blog post has been informative and gives you some good insight to the maintenance and cleaning of your Cubic mini wood stove.