Sauna Q&A / Iglucraft

When was the last time you had your sauna chimney cleaned?

27 Feb 2024

In order to be sure that all of the systems are in working order and operating as they should, it is recommended that you get the chimney of your sauna cleaned at least every 6 months. Consider the do’s and don’ts below to understand the more specific safety requirements of your sauna. 

In case of any doubt consult the Sauna Stove User Manual

DO have your chimney cleaned by a professional sweeper twice a year or more often if it sees heavy use. This eliminates soot and creosote buildup that can easily catch fire. 

DO take extra caution in case the sauna hasn’t been used for a longer period – check the condition of the ash box, the chimney and the smoke flue, and ask for a professional opinion in case of doubt. 

DO burn resin-free woods like alder and birch as they produce less creosote.

DO make sure your wood is seasoned (at least six months to one year) as it will burn better and leave less creosote residue. 

DO use a proper fire starter like crumpled paper / newspaper, birch bark or a special wood fire starter to ignite the fire as the use of wrong substances can easily cause chimney fire. 

DO empty the ash box each time before heating the stove and put the ash in a metal container. As the removed ash may contain hot embers, do not keep the ash container close to combustible material or the sauna. 

DO keep the ash box slightly open when heating the stove, but close it when the sauna room is heated to decrease wood consumption. 

DO take measures to lengthen the life span of your stove: 
- Excessive draught to the fire will cause the stove body to become red-heated, which will shorten its life span considerably; 
- Burning large amounts of wood of high thermal value will shorten the life span of the stove; 
- Excessive heating (several full loads in a row, for example) will make the sauna room, stove and chimney overheat, which shortens the life span of the stove and may cause a fire; 
- The use of seawater will corrode the stove very rapidly; 
- Empty the ash box before heating the stove so that the combustion air would cool off the fire grate and lengthen its life span. 

DO rearrange the sauna stones once a year as the large variation in temperature disintegrates the stones in use. Remove any pieces of smaller or cracked stones from the stone space and replace disintegrated ones. 

DO check the stove once a year as to the wear and tear of the metal parts of the stove. 

DO take time to heat up your sauna and do not try to get the sauna hot quickly as overheating might cause a fire. If you do feel that the sauna takes longer than usual to heat up, conduct a thorough inspection of the sauna as this might indicate a serious problem. 

DO wipe dust and dirt from the stove with a damp cloth every month. 

DO get acquainted with the instructions in case of fire:
• Close the ash box and stove door;
• Call the fire department;
• Do not try to extinguish fire using water, but a special fire extinguisher. 

DO NOT start fire with flammable fluids, such as gasoline, lighter fluids, solvents or anything else not labelled as wood fire starter as this will cause chimney fire. 

DO NOT ever burn the following materials in the stove:
• materials of high thermal value like chipboard, plastic, coal, brickets, pellets
• painted or impregnated wood
• any waste (textiles, leather, rubber, disposable diapers, PVC plastics, etc)
• garden waste (grass, leaves, etc)
• liquid fuel that might seem like an easy way of starting the fire 

DO NOT leave the door of the stove open when burning wood in the stove. The amount of draught can be adjusted by opening the ash box. 

DO NOT let the fire burn unattended.

DO NOT leave the firewood, matches, or any other combustible material in the hot room of 

the sauna. 

DO NOT keep the ash container close to the sauna as the removed ash may include hot embers and catch fire.