OUR 4 BEST TIPS FOR LOOKING AFTER YOUR LOPI WOOD HEATER
A Lopi wood heater is a valued addition to any home; decorative, unique, cost effective and producing a penetrating heat that drives the cold away. Just like any other appliance in your home, a wood heater needs to be cared for to prolong its lifespan and enhance its operation.
These 4 tips will allow you to take care of the fireplace that takes care of you!
When it comes to choosing wood for your Lopi wood burning stove you need to be selective. In Australia we burn hardwood; and the best hardwood ideally contains less than 18% moisture.
If too much moisture is present the fire may not burn hot enough and can then produce creosote (a range of chemicals produced when wood burns at a certain temperature).
Check the moisture content before purchasing and burning your firewood.
When loading your Lopi wood heater, be sure to leave air gaps around the timber for good combustion. Also remember to ensure that all timber in your stove is ignited before attempting to reduce the air or slow down the burn rate.
The fire in a slow combustion wood heater is different to the fire in your backyard fire pit; never allow smouldering slow fires to bloom. These fires only create more creosote which can then become a fire hazard.
At the same time, slow combustion fires should not be burning on high the entire time either. They are designed to burn on high for an initial period and then be turned down to maintain heat in your home. Burning on high constantly is known as ‘over firing’ and can cause premature fatigue to parts of your wood heater.
The best fires are those with medium-size flames and very little smoke within the firebox.
It’s important to regularly maintain your Lopi wood heater. Below is a suggestion for daily maintenance during the burning seasons, with some additional monthly maintenance ideas. There are also a few things you should do at the end of the season (or prior to the following one).
Daily Maintenance (during burning season)
Remove ash if necessary – a layer of ash is desirable (between 13-25mm) as it will slow the burn rate. Once the ash builds up over 25mm, you need to remove some from the firebox.
Clean the glass – your Lopi wood heater has an air-wash to keep the glass clean. However, burning un-seasoned wood or burning on lower burn rates leads to dirtier glass which will require additional cleaning.
Monthly Maintenance (during burning season)
Door and glass inspection – the door must form an air-tight seal to the firebox for the stove to work correctly. Inspect the door gasket to make sure it forms an air-tight seal to the firebox. The door can be lifted off the hinges if extensive repairs are conducted.
Removal of creosote – when wood is burned slowly, it produces tar and other organic vapours, which combine with expelled moisture to form creosote. As a result, creosote residue accumulates on the flue lining. When ignited, this creosote makes an extremely hot fire.
The chimney or flue pipe should be inspected at least once every two months during the heating season to determine if a creosote build-up has occurred. If creosote has accumulated, it should be removed to reduce the risk of a flue fire.
It is also important to inspect the top of the baffle to ensure creosote had not falling here thereby blocking or restricting the escape of smoke and gasses.
If you are not certain of creosote inspection, contact your closest Lopi outlet or local chimney sweep for a full inspection.
End of Season
At the end of every heating season or when you stop burning your fireplace ensure the firebox is clean and cleared of any remaining ashes. If ash is left in the firebox during the warmer months rust can form as humidity levels rise.
Touch-up paint – a can of Stove-Bright® paint is included in the owner’s pack of your Lopi wood heater. To touch up nicks or dulled paint, apply the paint while the appliance is cool. Sand rusted or damaged areas before application.
Clean air duct and blower – use a vacuum to clean the air ducts (channels). This prevents dust from burning and creating odours. The optional blower should be vacuumed every year to remove any build-up of dust, lint, etc.
Inspect firebricks and baffle supports – check the bricks along the ceiling of the firebox to make sure they are intact and have no gaps between them. Slide the bricks to eliminate any gaps.
Make sure the front and back baffle supports in are place and not degraded. Slight scaling or rusting of the metal is normal.