It is very common for customers to ask “should I repair or replace my stove” when they visit our Sudbury storefront. The answer – as it usually is- is that it depends on a number of factors.
WHAT’S THE LIFESPAN OF A STOVE?
The length of time a stove can last varies considerably with the style & type, whether you live in an area of high humidity, how diligent you are about performing maintenance on a regular schedule and the burning habits, among other factors. Properly maintained, it’s not unusual for a stove to last 20 or more years; however, during that time you will likely have to have some parts replaced including (but certainly not limited to) door and glass gaskets, baffles, firebricks and in the case of gas stoves sensors and possibly logsets.
There is a difference between maintenance and repair, especially when models and spare parts are no longer available. This is when replacement is the only option.
I HAVE AN OLD STOVE; SHOULD I USE IT?
While using an older stove instead of purchasing a new one may seem cost effective, operating an old stove that has surpassed its life expectancy can significantly increase the risk of fire. It’s just not worth the risk. In addition, old stoves are not as efficient or eco-friendly as today’s modern EPA advanced technology stoves and in most cases, you’ll find savings to offset purchasing new with reduced fuel consumption to provide the same heat. New stoves produce emissions by up to 90% and burn about 1/3 less wood. That’s less time chopping wood or less money spent on firewood and you’re saving trees and the environment.
If you have a model that is more than 20 years old, and you’re unsure of whether it is safe to operate, a specialist can visit your home and inspect it. Even easier, send a picture of the stove and the data plate. We can advise on parts status or possible recalls on that model.
ROUTINE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
When most people think of maintaining a stove, they think of cleaning the chimney and there’s good reason: Keeping the chimney clean reduces the chance of dangerous chimney fires.
While you can do some sweeping on your own, it’s a good idea to have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year, usually before the heating season. In addition to sweeping the chimney, your sweep can look for gaps or potential flaws in your chimney that may affect the draft. Part of the cleaning is a certain amount of disassembly of the stove which provides a good opportunity to inspect for cracks and other deficiencies. The best time is June or July before the sweeps are really busy with last minute work that always occurs from August onward.
Your stove’s finish also needs to be kept in good shape. Maintaining the finish does more than make it look nice. For most stoves, the finish is designed to reduce rust and even to help heat the surrounding space by allowing heat to radiate more efficiently. The type of maintenance required varies based on the finish. Your owner’s manual will be able to provide you with guidance on the proper maintenance of the finishes used. For all types, be sure to promptly remove any spills or moisture on the surface to avoid pitting the finish or having the stain become “baked on.”
Door gaskets or seals are relatively easy to replace; the owner’s manual that came with your stove will provide the part number for your door gasket and other components. If you don’t have a manual, we may have one in our archives that can be printed for a nominal fee.
Contact us or visit our showroom to ask us any questions about your replacing, repairing, or maintaining your stove.