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What Kind of Maintenance Should I Expect with a Wood Stove or Insert?

Wood Stove Maintenance - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganMany homeowners looking to switch from a masonry fireplace to an insert or stove do so, in part, to reduce the amount of cleaning, upkeep, and maintenance their fireplace requires. However, while these appliances do require significantly less maintenance than their masonry counterparts, there is still upkeep that must be done to keep the appliance working well.

Below you will find a discussion of the most common types of maintenance necessary for both wood stoves and inserts. While the level of work required varies by individual appliance, this should help provide an idea of what to expect before purchasing one of these heating appliances.

Wood stove maintenance

The addition of a wood stove is an excellent way to reduce overall heating costs while creating a warm and welcoming environment in your home. To keep the stove running efficiently, it should be regularly cleaned and inspected.

As with masonry fireplaces, the main area of maintenance for wood stoves is the flue. As the wood in the stove burns, it produces creosote, a black, tarry, and highly flammable substance that can coat the interior of the flue. Flues should be inspected and cleaned at least once per year to remove creosote along with additional ash or soot buildup. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, creosote is responsible for causing more than 70% of house fires in the United States each year.

In addition to keeping the flue clean, wood stove owners should take care to regularly remove the ashes from the stove as well as cleaning the seal and glass of the fireplace door. When doing regular maintenance such as this, abrasive chemicals should not be used; instead, use cleaners specially designed for fireplaces or simply wipe stove parts with a clean, damp cloth.

Wood burning insert maintenance

Fireplace inserts continue to gain popularity as they combine the look and feel of an open, masonry fireplace with the heating power of a wood stove. While wood burning inserts are not as efficient as their gas counterparts, they are more than 50% more efficient than a traditional fireplace.

While the EPA now certifies all wood burning inserts for efficiency, they still have many of the functions and features of a masonry fireplace. Because of this, wood burning inserts should also receive regular annual maintenance.

Due to the creosote created when burning wood, wood burning inserts should also have their flues regularly cleaned and inspected to prevent an excessive creosote buildup. As with any wood burning appliance, ashes should be regularly removed from the insert to keep the unit running efficiently. Homeowners can also clean the interior and exterior of the insert to remove ash and soot and keep their unit looking beautiful.

Whether you have a wood stove, wood burning insert, or other fireplace or heating appliance, regular maintenance is an important aspect of responsible ownership. To schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today. Our expect staff can help answer any maintenance questions you may have about your wood stoves or inserts, as well as help you keep your appliances running safely and efficiently.

Inserts vs Stoves vs Fireplaces

Regency Excalibur® P90 Medium Gas Fireplace

Regency Excalibur® P90 Medium Gas Fireplace

When it comes time to choose a new heating appliance, the choices can often be overwhelming. A traditional, wood-burning fireplace is no longer the only choice for homeowners looking to add warmth and ambiance to their homes. While there are dozens of different styles of heating appliances available, three of the most popular are inserts, stoves, and fireplaces. With more fuel choices and styles available than ever before, now is the perfect time to upgrade to a more modern heating appliance.


Unlike the open combustion of traditional fireplaces, fireplace inserts used a closed combustion system. This allows them to be more energy efficient as less warm air escapes up the chimney and less cool air enters a room. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association’s Leslie Wheeler, adding a fireplace insert has been known to reduce energy bills by as much as 40 percent.

There are fireplace inserts for a wide variety of fuel sources on the market today, as well as a variety of aesthetic styles. Clean Sweeps features a number of gas, pellet, and cast iron inserts, giving consumers the freedom to choose an insert that fits not only their style but also their budget.


Free standing stoves are no longer just for rustic cabins or hunting lodges. These energy efficient appliances have begun to appear in more and more modern homes in recent years as homeowners are attracted to their ease of use, relatively low cost, and aesthetic appeal. Even during burn bands, EPA certified stoves are allowed to continue running.

Like inserts, stoves that burn many different fuel sources are available. Wood stoves are ideal for homeowners looking to replicate the look and feel of a traditional fireplace, whereas gas stoves offer the same aesthetic look without the work of chopping and hauling firewood. Pellet stoves combine the look and feel of wood with a more efficient fuel source, and cast iron stoves have a more traditional, rustic aesthetic.


According to the National Association of Realtors, 40% of home buyers are willing to pay more for a home with a fireplace. For homeowners looking to upgrade or install a fireplace, there are more choices than ever before in terms of fuel sources, styles, and cost.

While traditional, wood-burning fireplaces remain popular, gas is becoming an increasingly widespread choice due to its ease of use. With an ease of use that is as easy as flipping a switch and little to no necessary maintenance, gas offers many benefits to homeowners. However, wood still wins in terms of lower fuel costs and overall ambiance. Clean Sweeps has a variety of gas and wood fireplaces available in their showroom to fit most styles and budgets.

If you’re looking to replace, upgrade, or install a new heating appliance, trust the experts at the Clean Sweeps to help you make the right choice for your family. With a wide variety of available styles and brands, our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you today!

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