Wood Stove Maintenance
The number one thing to remember is that your chimney / flue requires regular cleaning in order to be safe!
Chimneys should be visually inspected and cleaned before to operating a wood burning appliance for the first time in a season to ensure there are no obstructions, such as nests or debris.
Creosote, which is an unavoidable product of wood burning stoves - is a tarry build-up in the chimney / flue which can cause a chimney fire. To avoid excess creosote, only burn dry, seasoned wood. If you are burning greener wood, you should leave the draft in your fireplace open to allow the fire to burn hotter and clean your chimney / flue more often.
To cut down on creosote build-up, avoid smoldering fires. Keep your fire hot enough to prevent creosote accumulation. Check your chimney. If you see heavy smoke, creosote is probably forming. If your stove has been working well and then begins to smoke around the doors or ports, or if you see a black / dark brown substance running down metal pipes, you should check for creosote.
Wood should not be stored inside your home. Even seasoned wood carries a 20% moisture content which will affect the health of your home and your family.
If you must store wood inside your home, place a dehumidifier next to the wood and/or an air circulating system such as a fan. This will help to dry the wood and help minimize the molds and mildews which may occur as a result of the high moisture content.