Kiln Maintenance

People use kilns of different shapes and sizes for different purposes. Some people make charcoal while others are artisans making pottery for sale. Some people are just hobbyists who find interesting uses for a small or medium kiln. While most kilns do not have moving parts, they do need to be cleaned periodically. Good kiln maintenance can keep the fires burning at their best efficiency. 

More information on kiln maintenance 


While kilns are build to be robust and can last for decades, they do need occasional inspection and cleaning. Unused kilns can build rust on the outside, and frequently used kilns can accumulate soot on the inside. Just like traditional home furnaces, a kiln can accumulate soot in the pipes, and chimney fires are no laughing matter. They can warp or weaken the chimney and render the kiln unusable.


Soot deposits start to clog a kiln and reduce air flow. This is significant in a kiln that might already be designed to restrict air flow. Some devices are designed to render charcoal, which means a slow burn that uses heat to remove all the volatile compounds from wood. This system uses restricted ventilation that allows for a small amount of burning but largely prevents hot air from escaping.


A charcoal kiln has vents that are meant to close to a small crack if needed. These windows are moving parts that should be cleaned and examined occasionally. While the owner can do basic maintenance, it might take a professional to do a better job. Seeming broken vents might be repaired, and it takes a scope to see into a chimney. Cleaning a chimney or pipe thoroughly requires specialized tools.


While kilns are not mechanically complicated, they are not cheap to buy or install, and so good kiln maintenance is essential to reaping the full value of the investment. Like a household utility, they have care requirements and can break or become less efficient if neglected. Fires that are too small might buildup soot, and fires that are too large might overheat and warp the metal.


A professional can give a good idea about the condition of a kiln, its projected lifespan, and whether or not continued operation is a hazard. Inefficient burning can release carbon monoxide, and so a smothered fire should be well contained. If a kiln is located inside a building, inspection is essential to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Kilns that are outside are subject to greater weathering. Call an expert and experience kiln maintenance today.