If you have a pellet or gas stove insert installed in your old masonry fireplace, you most likely know that it is very important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year. However, did you know that it is equally as important to clean your insert regularly? While Ace Chimney Sweeps can do this for you, this maintenance task can also be done by you. If you use your insert on a daily basis during the winter, you will need to clean it at least a couple of times a month to keep it working efficiently and safely. We would like to tell you the steps of cleaning your fireplace insert so that you can enjoy fires all winter long.
- Prepare the area.
You will want to lay down tarps or layers of newspaper on the area around your hearth to keep things clean. You should also remove any grates and tools from the insert.
- Remove the ashes.
If you have a pellet stove insert, you should remove any buildup of ashes by using a metal shovel and bucket after your pellet stove has sufficiently cooled down. Place a fitted lid on the bucket and place outside on a non-combustible surface like concrete or brick.
- Scrub with wire brushes and vacuum up the debris.
You can use a large heavy-duty wire brush to scrub clean the inside of the insert. To remove the dirt and debris from the door and its hinges, use a small wire brush. Love to Know recommends vacuuming up the debris and dirt you scrubbed loose.
- Clean the insert.
In a large bucket, mix together a teaspoon of liquid dish washing detergent and a half-cup of baking soda in one gallon of warm water. Take a clean rag and clean your entire insert with this solution. Pay close attention to grates and vents. You may need to use more clean rags during this process. After you have scrubbed down the insert, take another clean rag and a bucket of clean water to rinse the insert. You can then dry off the insert with another clean rag.
- Clean the doors.
Using a glass fireplace door cleaner and a clean, soft cloth, wipe away the grime and soot that have accumulated on the glass doors. If you find the buildup to be too stubborn to remove this way, you can work the cleaner into the glass with a brush before wiping away with the cloth. Once you have completed this step, you can put back the grates and tools as well as remove the tarps or newspapers.
Cleaning your stove insert regularly is an important maintenance task if you want to keep your insert working properly. Contact us at Ace Chimney Sweeps if you have any questions about taking care of your stove insert this winter.