Essential summer maintenance tips for your stove to ensure peak performance in winter

Warm fire flames logs burning in ClearView domestic multifuel stove burner inside home, UK. (Photo by: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group)

Summer is the ideal time to give your multi-fuel stove or wood burner a thorough maintenance check. Ensuring it's in top-notch condition now means you'll be ready to use it as soon as the first chilly night of winter arrives.

Summer is the optimal time for a stove maintenance check to ensure it's ready for winter.

A well-maintained solid fuel stove is more efficient, safer to use and can save you money.

A summer clean keeps your stove looking its best, especially if it's the centrepiece of your living room.

Combine a stove maintenance check with a professional chimney clean from a registered sweep who will likely have more availability in the summer.

Neglecting to maintain your stove could void its warranty.Here are some key tips to keep your stove performing at its best throughout the year from Home FIre UK.

Clear out ash, soot and debris.

The first task is to clear any leftover ash, soot or debris from inside your closed appliance, focusing particularly on the glass door and the fire grate. The glass on the stove door can become discoloured over time but this can be cleaned using a stove glass cleaner, a scratch-free scouring pad and a clean cloth.

Due to the high temperatures the fire grate is exposed to, it can wear down over time. A stove and grate polish can rejuvenate your grate but if you need to replace it, ensure it fits correctly.

Inspect the baffle plate:.

Like grates, baffle plates also endure high temperatures as they are located inside the firebox area of the stove and exposed to the flames. It's crucial to clean any excess soot from the baffle plate as this can impact your stove's performance.

If your baffle plate gets damaged, ensure you replace it following the manufacturer's guidelines.

Check seals.

To maintain your stove's efficiency, it's vital to check all the seals including the door rope, glass gasket seal and any sealed joints. Seals must be airtight to prevent unwanted air from entering the firebox and reducing optimal performance.

A handy tip for checking your door seals is to fold a piece of newspaper and close the door on it. If you can't pull the paper through, your door is airtight.

A fresh coat of paint.

Revive your appliance's paint finish to conceal minor scratches and blemishes. However, refrain from using regular paint.

Only use specialist heat resistant stove paint on multi-fuel and wood burning stoves. Ensure the stove's surface is free from rust, dirt and grease as these can spoil the final result.

If you're simply refreshing your stove's existing finish, one coat will suffice. If you're painting bare metal, build up the finish in several layers, allowing drying time between coats*.

When using your stove for the first time after painting, it's advisable to open a window as the paint may emit an odour during initial use.

Rust is unlikely to be an issue with modern stoves, but it's still worth checking. If rust is present, it's best to address it sooner rather than later.

Remove the rust with wire wool and reapply stove paint to restore your stove to its former glory.

If you're not planning on using your stove over the summer or for more than a few days for any other reason, leave the door slightly open. This encourages air flow and ventilation, helping to prevent corrosion.

Maintaining your chimney and appliance can help protect against damage and chimney fires. It also helps ensure the longevity of your appliance and keeps your fuel burning as efficiently as possible.

How often should you have your chimney swept?

For smokeless coal, it's recommended at least once a year. For wood, up to four times a year. For bituminous coal, twice a year.

A registered chimney sweep will ensure that the chimney is cleaned correctly and carry out any necessary safety checks on the fireplace and chimney. If any issues are identified, your sweep will be able to advise on the best course of action for repair.