North Shore Insurance Brokers

How to Prepare Your Wood Stove for Winter

When the temperature is well below freezing, most people want to be cosy and comfortable in their homes. The ideal scenario is you warm on one side of the window, and Canada’s harsh winter on the other side.
Many people use wood stoves and traditional fireplaces in their homes. These remain fantastic ways to heat a space, and create a wonderful atmosphere to make those chilly winter months enjoyable. Winterizing a home is very important and there are many things Canadians should do before the cold season arrives.
But while most people know to check gutters and roofs, trims trees, and check windows for leaks, many makes mistakes about heating.
Primarily, most Canadians prepare their furnace for winter. This is actually good practice, and should be the first heating source prepped for the long cold nights. However, many overlook wood stove preparation and can be left cold (literally) at the wrong time.
Weather forecasters are predicting the trend of increasingly cold winters will continue this 2017/2018 season, so the wood will be burning a lot this year. With that in mind, it is worth readying your wood stove by following our special tips:
Get the Wood Ready Early: Don’t leave it to late. Whether you purchase your wood or chop it yourself, make sure you have your winter’s requirement before the cold months arrive. How much is enough? Well, prepare your usual winter consumption of wood, and add 20 percent for surplus. If a deep cold snap hits, you will be prepared to burn the extra fuel, and if not, you will have plenty of wood for next year’s summer grills.
Clean the Chimney/Exhaust Pipe: We would say the chimney should be maintained year-round, but in winter even more so. Before the blizzards and heavy snow arrive, clean the stove’s ventilation, removing all soot, ash, creosote and other debris.
Beware of Mother Nature: She will already be showing her fury in the freezing weather outside, but animals can also present dangers. Check your stove exhaust for rodents, birds, or nests. These can clog the chimney, causing potential carbon monoxide poisoning or fires. A cap or screen at the top of the intake will keep animals from entering what will be an appealing place for them during winter.
General Inspection, Including Damper: Doing an inspection of the wood stove will allow you to find any problems with the equipment ahead of time. This includes checking the damper to ensure it opens and closes as it should. You probably don’t want the wood stove to malfunction when it is 20 below outside, so carry out your inspection when there is time for any repairs to be made.
Stay Safe: While many preparation tips involve ensuring yourself a cosy winter this year, some could potentially save your life. Make sure flammable items and materials are removed from the area around the wood stove. During the summer, it is easy for the stove to become a storage unit. Make sure by time the winter comes all fire hazards are removed.