How to Maintain and Use a Wood Stove

Image of a freestanding wood stove in a house
Wood-burning stoves have become an increasingly popular home heating source. How can homeowners enjoy their wood stoves safely?
3 min read

A wood-burning stove often appeals to a homeowner looking for a more economical, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly home heating option. However, if a wood stove is not used and maintained properly, it can end up being a serious fire risk or lead to a dangerous accumulation of smoke and carbon monoxide in a home.

To help homeowners prevent fires and other related hazards caused by wood stoves, The Andover Companies has created a downloadable information sheet with tips on how to operate a wood stove as safely as possible. Our number one recommendation is to have your stove professionally installed. Then, there are several things a homeowner can do to reduce the risk of fire when using their wood-burning stove, including:

  • Clear a minimum of three feet of space on all sides of the stove.
  • Open the damper before lighting a fire and close it after the fire is fully out.
  • Use only properly seasoned wood when lighting a fire.
  • Keep the stove doors closed whether the stove is in use or not.
  • Control the creosote buildup.
  • Wait 24 hours before removing ashes after a fire.
  • Put ashes in a metal container or douse them thoroughly with water before discarding.

Our wood stove info sheet contains many more safety tips like these. In addition, you will learn about three common ways wood-burning stoves can lead to house fires and some of the chief warning signs that a wood stove is not running properly and requires maintenance. If you smell smoke or something that seems like burning plastic or hot metal, see dark smoke venting from your stove or chimney, or notice any other signs that make you think there might be a problem with your stove, we urge you to call 911 right away. It is not safe to try to put out any type of fire yourself.

Cover image for the Wood Stove Maintenance Sheet

Tips for Properly Using and Maintaining a Wood Stove

By reading this info sheet, you can learn more about the risks of using a wood stove in your home and how to lessen them.

Download the tip sheet

Interest in wood-burning stoves tends to heat up as temperatures go down. If you’re thinking of purchasing a wood stove for your home, one of the people you should reach out to is your local insurance professional, as installing this type of heat source in your home may require an adjustment to your home insurance coverage.

The Andover Companies team is committed to providing you with up-to-date insights that help you take the best possible care of your home—one of your most important investments. Please check out our blog for more articles on preventing common property risks, such as freezing pipes, home fires, and break-ins.


Step 1:

Click on the Find an Agent button to search for independent insurance agencies near you.

Step 2:

Contact the independent insurance agency you would like to work with by phone or email.

Step 3:

Leave it up to your agent to uncover the best coverage solutions for your valuable property.