The off-season, when your fireplace is no longer needed daily for heat, is the perfect time to undergo yearly maintenance to ensure your wood burning fireplace, stove, or insert continues to work effectively for years to come!
Although maintenance is one of those things we all hate to do it is important to ensure proper, and safe, operation of your fireplace for the upcoming season. Annual fireplace maintenance will make sure that your fireplace is working efficiently, and that it is free of blockages or creosote buildups that have the potential to ignite causing fires in the flue or chimney.
If you are not comfortable performing maintenance yourself contact your local Certified Regency Dealer
and schedule a maintenance appointment. They will be able to make sure your unit is in perfect working condition and get it ready for the next wood burning season!
Note: Before cleaning anything make sure to:
- Allow adequate time for the fireplace to cool down (including ash)
- Use eye protection, gloves, and respirator/mask
- Have your Regency manual on hand so you can refer to it for cleaning/removal/replacement instructions.
Find more maintenance videos here.
Top 6 Wood Burning Fireplace Maintenance Tasks:
1. Clean Flue from Creosote Buildup
Every year you should have a certified chimney sweep come and clean out the creosote from your flue to ensure it is clear and safe to operate. This will also help to avoid creosote fires while in operation.
2. Remove & Clean Air Tubes
Two-Stage burn fireplaces utilize air tubes for the secondary burn. These air tubes should be removed, cleaned to ensure there are no blockages in the tubes and that the air holes are clear. Refer to your user manual for instructions on how to do this for your specific model.
3. Visually Inspect Catalyst (Catalytic Units)
If you have a triple-stage wood burning product with a Catalytic combustor, you should carefully remove the catalyst and visually inspect it, looking for blockages, cracks, or peeling. If nothing appears to be wrong with the catalyst replace it carefully. If there appears to be significant damage your catalyst could be compromised and you should contact your local Regency Dealer for servicing.
Please Note: Catalytic Combustors should last anywhere between 6-10+ years with proper use, refer to your owner’s manual for best practices.
4. Clean Thermal Probe (Catalytic Units)
The catalyst thermometer is used to indicate the internal temperature of the gasses as they pass through the catalyst. To ensure accurate readings the thermostat must be cleaned at least once a year. Use 220 grit sand paper to clean any buildup on the probe.
5. Clean Glass
Once cooled, open your fireplace door so you have access to both sides of the glass. Clean both sides of the glass with a soft cloth and fireplace glass cleaner. Note: it is important to use fireplace glass cleaner as traditional glass cleaners can leave chemical residues on the glass that when the fireplace is restarted can create noxious smells or permanent damage to the glass.
PRO-TIP: Creosote residue is sometimes difficult to remove on the glass. By performing a quick cleaning on the glass every day, it will be easier to remove and your glass will look newer longer.
6. Inspect Damper
Check the damper to make sure that it is working correctly and that there is no debris or buildup preventing it from opening or closing fully.
6 Ways to Prevent Creosote Buildup in Your Wood Stove
1. Burn stove with the draft control wide open for about 10-15 minutes every morning during burning season.
2. Burn stove with draft control wide open for about 10 - 15 minutes every time you apply fresh wood. This allows the wood to achieve the charcoal stage faster and burns up any unburned gas vapors which might otherwise be deposited within the system.
3. Only burn seasoned wood! Avoid burning wet or green wood. Seasoned wood has been dried at least one year.
4. A small hot fire is preferable to a large smoldering one that can deposit creosote within the system.
5. Establish a routine for the fuel, wood burner and firing technique. Check daily for creosote buildup.
6. The chimney and chimney connector should be inspected at least once every two months during the heating season to determine if a creosote buildup has occurred. Note: It is best to have chimney system and unit cleaned by competent chimney sweeps twice a year during the first year of operation and at least once per year thereafter or when a significant layer of creosote has accumulated (Approx. 3 mm or 1/8")
Want more tips for your Fireplace? Learn more about how best to start & maintain your fire:
Best Practices for Starting a Wood Fire
Tips for Starting a Fire in a Cold Fireplace