Airwash: what is it and what does it mean for your wood-burning stove?


Airwash might sound like a cutting edge piece of technology that Dyson have created to revolutionise cleaning your car, but it’s actually a lot more straightforward that.

It does involve air and it does involve cleaning, but cars and cyclone technology are omitted in favour of some basic physics and your trusty wood-burning stove.

It is one of those inventions that once you see how simple and effective it is, you wonder how it wasn’t used far earlier.

Airwash technology brings a flow of air into the firebox of your wood burner from a vent above the glass panel. The air is immediately forced directly downwards over the inside of the door. This creates a layer air which ‘washes’ over the glass at all times.

Flames and gases are both kept at bay by this constant flow of air, which prevents tar building up and causing the glass to blacken.

So, as we mentioned, airwash is not fancy in terms of the design or the technology involved, but it is very effective.

Since being able to see the real flames is one of the best parts of having a wood-burning stove, and since having a piece of grubby glass sitting in your living room doesn’t look particularly nice, airwash saves you a lot of hard work trying to get your glass clean.

The various methods people use in an attempt to keep their glass clean probably merit a blog post of their own, but suffice it to say that it’s not a chore that you would want to become a part of your life unnecessarily.

Buying a stove with an airwash system means you can:

  • Prevent the build-up of tar on the glass panel of your stove
  • Avoid cleaning your glass because the stove will keep itself clean
  • Always have the pleasant, homely view of the wood burning inside your stove

11 thoughts on “Airwash: what is it and what does it mean for your wood-burning stove?

  1. Pingback: Uses for wood-burning stove ashes | Use wood ashes | Gr8 Fires Blog

  2. I just got a wood burning with an airwash system, but nowhere can I find HOW to use it. It has a low and high setting and one in between. Where should it be setting and at what stage of burning? Thank you, Brenda

    • Hi,
      I have a Pacific energy Super series stove.
      Heats very well. Ive had it for 20 years, and the glass is neveer clear unless I clean it. Testing my memory, but i think it did keep the glass clear years ago.
      The dealer was no help.
      I blew air from my vacum into the air wash today? maybe that will help.
      Cheers Neil

      • Hi Neil,

        Your vacuum plan is unlikely to work because airwash relies on a constant stream of air creating a protective layer over the glass throughout the burn. In fact it might cause more problems by introducing too much oxygen into the firebox and causing the stove to overfire.

        Some blackening is inevitable. We would suggest giving the stove glass a good clean and only burning fuel that burns cleanly (e.g. well seasoned logs).



  3. My oven has a circular door/opening on the top of the log burner. When lit the other day i heard a loud bang and the round door on the top had lifted off. A better description is a flush fitting circular piece of metal like a lid/door which has a groove in the centre. Anyone tell me what it is and what it does ?? Id appreciate any help.

  4. We have inherited 2 Godin woodburners of unknown age (possibly 20 yrs+) in our French property and both suffer from blackened glass. Neither has an air vent at the top, just a vent at the bottom of each side. What is the best thing to do with these side vents when fully lit please – leave open a touch or close completely?
    Also, is there any maintenance which needs to be done on these burners please, apart from having the flue regularly cleaned?

  5. I have a multi fuel stove with a back boiler.
    It has no airwash vents, just a lower vent dial on the side which opens and shuts down the burn.
    It’s disheartening to not see the flames.
    So I was wondering whether I could drill some holes above the glass and install a plate and would this suffice please?

    • Hi Ricky

      We couldn’t recommend that. With dangerous gases involved, those sort of modifications would bring with them additional risk.



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