Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to Polish a Woodstove (Cast Iron)

If your stove has aged some and isn't as pretty as it once was, you might want to consider investing in some woodstove polish.

Wood stove polish has natural waxes in it that protect and nurture the metal that the stove is made of.

How to polish:
  1. Get a good polish. Williams Stove Polish or Rutland Stove Polish Paste are two good ones. (Be sure to read the directions that come with these to be sure they are not different from these instructions. If they are it is best to go with the manufacturer of the product's instructions).
  2.  Procure some latex gloves, as this polish can stay on your hands quite well.
  3. You will probably want a quality paint brush to apply the polish with. You don't want bristles falling off onto the stove. (The brush will come in hand to get small or detailed areas on the stove). Oh and you'll also need a nice clean lint-less towel. I've used the old cloth baby diapers for projects that need to have no lint left behind, with good results in the past.
  4.  Apply polish to your stove per the package instructions. 
  5. Once the polish is dried if you so choose you can hand buff the stove for a lovely shine. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adjust your Woodstove's Door

So now that you know How to Change a Wood Stove Gasket, you might need to take a look at the door on your wood stove to be sure that it doesn't need to be adjusted.

If your wood stove door seems to be loose then it needs to be adjusted. Now how does one go about doing this?

It is a fairly simple process in all honesty.

If your woodstove's door is loose that means you are not getting the level of efficiency that you should have and that soot will build up faster. This time of  year is a good time to test the tightness of the seal between your door and stove, since your stove needs to be cooled down in order to test it. Take a dollar bill and place it along the door seal; now, close the door and try to pull out your dollar. If the dollar slides out easily then that is a good indicator that your door is loose. If the door is loose the latch needs to be adjusted. After adjusting your latch test the door using the dollar bill again. If the dollar still slides out and you haven't changed your woodstove gasket then you will want to look into replacing your gasket.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Replace a Woodstove Gasket

Okay, so you read over how to winterize your home and have come to the conclusion that your wood stove needs a new gasket after you serviced it. So how exactly does one replace a wood stove gasket? Well you are in the right place to find out:
First you will need to look at your stove's information or user manual to see what size and type of wood stove gasket you need. 
Then you will need to use a screwdriver and pry and scrape out the old gasket and clean the door's surface thoroughly with a wire brush.

Then you will apply a bead of high-temperature cement using a caulking gun. Now you will embed the glass-fiber door-gasket rope. Close the door and secure it to allow the gasket to cure. Follow your gasket's instructions (they should be found on the label). 

If you serviced your wood stove and are unsure as to whether the gasket needs to be replaced are not, there are some tips:
Take a piece of paper, stick it in between the gasket on your stove, then try to pull it through. You should feel resistance. If you do, your gasket is still good. However, if you can move it in and out (or up and down) the seal is not tight enough and you need to replace your gasket.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Time to Start Winterizing Your Home!

So the weather has been over 90 degrees in most places and the thoughts of winter are far from most people's minds. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be preparing for the upcoming winter months. Now is the time to get all those little (and big) tasks done:

If you have an attic you will want to check your insulation. If it is looking a little thin or sparse you will want to add some extra insulation.  This will keep you from losing as much heat in the winter as heat rises and will escape through your attic if it is not properly insulated.

Add weather stripping around doors and windows.

While you are adding the weather stripping, check for cracks around your doors and windows. You will need to caulk these.

Outlet gaskets are great to add to the outlets that are on the outer walls of your home. These gaskets help to eliminate drafts. Drafts are a great way for heat to escape from your home (and for cool air to escape through in the summer).

If you have a furnace you will want to clean it and replace the air filter. Dirty furnaces and furnace air filters can cause fires.

Service your wood stove. (This might include needing to change your wood stove gasket). If you are not comfortable cleaning your chimney and checking your wood stove over yourself, then you should be able to find a professional chimney sweep in your area that you can hire to do these things for you. Better safe than sorry.

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