The Chimney Sweep Online Fireplace, Woodstove, Gas Stove and Barbecue Shop
All new wood and gas stoves, fireplaces and inserts need to be broken in before being put into full service. The break-in fires will cook off any packing compounds, cure the paint, and "settle the metal" to prepare the stove for regular use.
Wood Burning Appliance Break-in Procedure:
The best way to break in a new woodstove, fireplace or insert is with three medium-sized fires. Before starting your first break-in fire, wipe all fingerprints off any gold and brass surfaces with alcohol and a paper towel. Set your draft control to the High (fully open) position. Build a medium-sized fire (firebox just under half full), and wait about 20 or 30 minutes until the wood kindles and the chimney heats up (the wood is kindled when steam stops coming out through the endgrains and the top pieces are engulfed in flames). Then, adjust the draft control to a medium setting (about halfway open), and allow the fire to burn completely out (this will take several hours). Expect a hot, chemical smell and some visible smoke in the house at first. This smoke is annoying, but not toxic: open doors and windows to allow the smell to dissipate and to keep the smoke from setting off your fire alarms.
When the painted surfaces on the inside of the firebox are exposed to the flames for the first time, they produce emissions that coat the inside of the viewing window. After the first fire, clean the inside surface of the viewing window to remove these deposits or they could permanently cloud the glass. Then repeat the burning process two more times, allowing the stove to cool to room temperature between break-in fires.
The paint should stop smoking during the first fire. After the third fire, the odor should be gone too. At this point, go ahead and fill the firebox and adjust the draft control wherever needed to maintain the room temperature desired.
Gas Burning Appliance Break-in Procedure:
Gas stoves, fireplaces and inserts can be broken in with one fire. Light the burner, adjust the flame height controller about halfway between the lowest and highest settings, and allow the fire to burn for about four hours. Expect some visible smoke in the house for the first hour or two, and a hot chemical smell for the duration of the burn. The smoke is pungeant, but not toxic: open doors and windows to ventilate the smell and keep your fire alarms from going off. At the end of the break-in fire, allow the stove to cool to room temperature.
When the painted surfaces on the inside of the firebox are exposed to the flames for the first time, they produce emissions that coat the inside of the viewing window. After the first fire, clean the inside surface of the viewing window to remove these deposits or they could permanently cloud the glass.
You might get a slight odor at the start of your second and third fires, but it should go away quickly.