Summer Shutdown Process

Woodcutter Tom

New Member
Apr 28, 2019
52
Northern Illinois
Could some of you more experiences people share your summer shutdown procedures here. I have a wood burning stove with a straight chimney flue that rises 17 feet above the stove. No damper.
My plan is to thoroughly clean the interior of the stove; removing all the firebricks, secondary tubes, and baffle as I do this. I want to make it as clean as I possible can. I will also clean all the stove pipe and chimney pipe and the rain cap.
I want to seal the rain cap to keep any weather and critters from entering. I also want to seal the chimney to prevent any cool air conditioned air from meeting hot humid air from outside. I don't want condensation on the interior of the chimney. Does anyone do this? If so, what material do you use?

I look forward to seeing other thoughts. Thanks.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,230
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Most of us never remove the bricks or tubes unless tube removal is required for baffle removal. Clean the chimney, clean the ashes, clean the glass. It’s only a few months until fall burning. I’ve never done anything to keep animals or air out of my chimney.
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,079
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Some years I am industrious and clean the chimney, above the baffle and inside the firebox . . . lubricate the air mechanism and get the glass shiny clean.

Other years I am lazy and don't do any of that stuff until the Fall.

I have yet to see any critters in my woodstove . . . and I think I have had maybe just a handful of times when I could smell creosote which was remedied with a small candle left in the firebox to reverse the draft.
 

Mutineer

New Member
Dec 13, 2018
32
NE Ohio
I usually clean the ashes out of the box and clean the chimney and interior piping with my stiff 6" brush. As far as critters, the only one I ever had was a male bluebird that got down in the 20' chimney pipe all the way down to the firebox and was fluttering around in there. I called my SIL the birder to come over and help and she was able to catch him with a towel, and she put him on his back and he went into that coma state the you read about. Bizarre. Tried to find the pics I took of him flying around in the stove thru the glass but they are lost somewhere in the bits and bytes. It was an amazing set of pictures because the morning light and the angle of the camera to the glass lit up his brilliant blue color like something done by Audubon himself.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,085
Lackawaxen PA
As Jake said, like you we had good intentions years ago to gett'er cleaned up right after the season. Maybe this year with days at home it could get done before the fall. For now there's no issue not doing anything until the fall.

What you have to do is brush down the interior of the complete chimney. What you get from the cleanout will help you understand how well your burning and how often you need to clean it.

All the rest of cleaning mentioned is somewhat optional. But I do pull apart all the movable stove parts and clean up all the ash. My burn tubes don't easily come out, so they have never been cleaned. I have a insulation blanket above the burn plates, which I change every 3 years. Capping the top is not necessary, but not a bad idea to keep the birds out.
 

fvhowler

Member
May 4, 2018
36
Heart of NC
I tend to spread out my wood stove related task throughout the year:

1) At conclusion of burn season - remove ashes, clean the glass, wipe down stove (wife turns stove into a plant stand)
2) Spring - cut/split/stack firewood to burn in two years
3) Summer - remove all plants and nick-nacks from stove, take top of stove apart, remove and clean the baffle, remove bricks and use sooteater to clean stove pipe
4) Fall - more cut/split/stack to burn in two years
5) Late Fall - remove all plants and nick-nacks again and start burning
 

Woodcutter Tom

New Member
Apr 28, 2019
52
Northern Illinois
I usually clean the ashes out of the box and clean the chimney and interior piping with my stiff 6" brush. As far as critters, the only one I ever had was a male bluebird that got down in the 20' chimney pipe all the way down to the firebox and was fluttering around in there. I called my SIL the birder to come over and help and she was able to catch him with a towel, and she put him on his back and he went into that coma state the you read about. Bizarre. Tried to find the pics I took of him flying around in the stove thru the glass but they are lost somewhere in the bits and bytes. It was an amazing set of pictures because the morning light and the angle of the camera to the glass lit up his brilliant blue color like something done by Audubon himself.
I got up this morning and heard a weird noise. Upon investigation, this is what I found. This is why I want to cap the chimney top. I took the burn tubes and the baffle out yesterday. I removed most of the ash. Later this week when the weather is nice I was going to brush the chimney. I guess I will have to try the towel method to remove him. I doubt he will fly up the chimney to escape. Wish me luck.
 

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David.Ervin

Feeling the Heat
Jan 17, 2014
269
O-H
Scoop all the ashes out, scrub the glass clean. When I get around to renting a man lift and cleaning out the flues (gotta remove the caps to get them actually clean), I'll drop the baffle out of the stove and leave it down with a towel stuffed in the flue to prevent creosote smell.