A closed combustion Fireplace is a wonderful thing to have in your home, giving you years of warm cosy winters. It is important to choose the correct fireplace that can sufficiently heat the required space. For a standard 2.7m high ceiling, we usually would recommend 1Kw per 10m2 When you buy a new one, I always say a new fireplace is like a new spouse, you need to get to know each other.
Make sure you get to know the best way to make a fire, how do the vents work, how much cleaning is best and of course the most important…how to best service it, so that you keep it perfect for many many years. One thing to avoid is over firing. It damages your unit and it is not covered under any manufacturers warranty. There are internal parts, that over time, will need to be replaced, but the body of the unit should last you decades.
What is over firing?
Over firing is essentially the process of operating your stove at too high a temperature. Woodburners are supposed to operate at high temperatures, but there are optimum temperature levels and going above them can result in damage being caused to your stove
How am I over firing my fireplace?
Too much Wood – Making a huge fire with too much wood in the firebox to try to get the room up to temperature fast is a big no-no.
Too much oxygen – Leaving the door open, having the vents open too wide or the door rope is old and needs replacing.
What will happen if you over fire your fireplace?
You will see that your baffle plate will warp (that is the steel plate above your fire). If over firing goes on unchecked then you will also burn through your grate and after that, the body of the fireplace start showing signs of metal fatigue (Warping or cracking) This cannot be fixed and your fireplace will need to be replaced. Other signs might be, that your steel baffle is showing red discolouration or the cast iron body is going white.
Service and Sweep your Fireplace and Chimney often
Build up of creosote – Not sweeping your chimney regularly will cause a build-up of creosote in the flue pipes (wet wood will also speed bu this build up). Clean chimneys don’t catch fire.
How do you avoid overfiring your stove?
To ensure that you are not overfiring your wood-burning stove, install a thermometer on your flue pipe. This will measure the temperature of gases leaving your wood burner and help you to ascertain whether your stove is being operated within its optimum levels or if you are overfiring it. Remember different woods burn at different temperatures. So there is great peace of mind in knowing that you are controlling the fire perfectly and really only a thermometer will do that.
Advantages of a flue thermometer:
- Longer burn times
- Less refuelling
- Cleaner chimney
- Environmentally friendly combustion
- Longer stove life