A good quality pellet stove is a great asset for you and your family since it will make your entire house or apartment warm and cozy during winter. But, it may stop warming appropriately or start showing others problems if it doesn’t get accurate and regular maintenance.
During the winter season, one would need to run a pellet stove almost 8-9 hours and sometimes run for the entire day to survive for outside cold. Regular maintenance of pellet stove is very necessary during this period to keep the performance of your pellet stove constant as a brand new machine. Here is some of the maintenance task that you should do properly in due time:
- Clean the burn pot and ashes: You have to clean the burn pot of pellet stove and remaining ash using an ash vacuum cleaner once or twice in a week if it used very frequently.
- Regular cleaning of vent pipe: Cleaning vent pipe and chimney at least one time in a month or year is mandatory. Cleaning the vent pipe or chimney is not that much easy. So, we recommend you to hire experts for this task.
- Others maintenance like filling pellets, cleaning front glass, etc. is very simple and easy.
How to Maintain a Pellet Stove
Buy and Use Only Quality Wood Pellets
Three different grades of wood pellets (premium, standard, and utility) are usually found in the market that is suitable to use in a pellet stove. But, among them, only the premium grade pellets are the best to use in a quality pellet stove since very burns clean, produce less smoke and ash(less than 1%). They are well-known for burning clean and complete. Manufactures of pellet stove always recommend using a specific grade pellets what is recommended on their user manual or website.
Well, we can teach you a simple trick if you have bought a new pellet stove and you don’t select any wood pellet brand yet. Instead of buying a full bag of pellets, you can buy a few small packets of wood pellet that has very good customer reviews to use in your pellet stove for the experiment. Examine these things – how well it is burning? Is it producing less smoke or not? Do all the pellets burn completely? Try to use different brands of pellet until you find the perfect match fuel for your heating machine.
Top-fed pellet stoves generally require premium quality wood pellets. But you can use low-quality pellets if your pellet stove is bottom-fed.
Store Pellets Perfectly
It is recommended to keep the pellets away from the air and water. That means you have to find a safer place where you can store your wood pellets. We suggest you store it in a drawer, locker, desk or chest so that they didn’t get contact with outside air or moisture. Wood absorbs water if you keep it in open place. furthermore, keeping wood pellet in the open air will degrade the quality of pellets collecting moisture from the air. This increase the quantity of water present in pellet. The presence of a high volume of water may create greater smoke while it burned in the stove.
Sometimes the bag of pellet stove becomes damaged. You have to cover up the damaged portion of the pellet bag with waterproof tapes.
Don’t store pellet in your living room or bedroom. It may attract the pest or insects. Also, pellet emits a little number of toxic gases (carbon monoxide) when it is stored. Find a safer place outside your home like a garage or you can choose your storeroom for this purpose. You need to use an exhaust or ventilation fan for safety.
Fill Up the Hopper
The hopper capacity of a pellet stove may be vary depending on model and brand that you are willing or looking forward to purchase. You may find a pellet stove has a pellet holding capacity ranging from 50lb-250lb. The bigger hopper can hold more wood pellets. A pellet stove that has a very good hopper capacity need to replenish 2 or 3 times in a week. On the other hand, low capacity hopper needs frequent refilling, maybe you have to fill it once or twice a day and that would be a big hassle since you have to clean the hopper each time you replenish it with wood pellets.
Clean the Front Glass Door
The clean and clear front glass door allows you to see the beautiful and natural fire burning sights sitting in a chair or bed. Moreover, you can inspect whether pellets burning properly or not.
For example, If the flame of burning wood pellets is orange or some other deep color instead of usual fire color, that is, bright yellow or white, indicates that there are some internal functional problems with pellet stove. Stop using it if it shows such kind of problem. And, either contact with customer service if you have a warranty or hire a professional for service.
Don’t touch the glass while the stove is running. While cleaning the glass, wait for 20 min to cool it down after turning off the fire and power of pellet stove completely. Use a clean towel and good glass cleaner to clean it. You must clean both inside and outside of the glass. Don’t ever scrape the glass while cleaning. It will definitely harm the glass and very high chances of glass become blurring.
Clean the Outer Body
Take regular body soap and dissolve some soap in clean water. Make a good solution. Then mix little vinegar in the solution. Take a clean cloth and dip it in the solution. After that, wriggle the cloth until the water in the cloth rises off. Then, clean the body thoroughly. When you are done cleaning the whole body, take a dry cloth and wipe out the residual water in the body.
Don’t run the stove until the pellet stove become dry completely.
If the body of the pellet stove is made of cast iron, you have to use a vacuum instead of the above solution.
Empty the Ash Trap or Drawer
Regularly check the ash drawer of the pellet stove. Cleaning ash drawer once or twice a week will be sufficient if your pellet stove ash-bearing capacity is good. Whenever the ash drawer becomes loaded, dumped the ashes in a plastic bag or use a ash vacuum cleaner. You can use your garbage bag for damping. First tip the ash pan in a garbage bag. After that, shake out the ash in the bag.
Clean the Remaining Ash Inside the Stove
Search out the remaining ash that hidden inside the stove. You must find some ash in the burn pot. Clean it using an ash vacuum cleaner. Don’t ever use a normal household vacuum cleaner or dust buster for this ash cleaning. Ash vacuum is specialized for this work.
Clean the Build-up
When ash melts and becomes hard, it turns into clinker. Inside the burn pot, you will discover this clinker. You can use a special rake or ash tools or an ash vacuum cleaner to remove them.
Clear Heat Exchanger
Heat exchanger supplies oxygen by bringing the air inside the burn pot and also assist to bring out the warm heat or heatwave produced by the pellet stove. Sometimes shoot build up in the series of tube of the firebox. Use a wire brush to clean the messes.
Check and Clean Vent Pipe
Hire a certified professional to inspect the vent pipe. If they found something wrong with the pipe, pay them to fix it. Also, expend some money to clean the exhaust pipe of pellet stove at least once in a year.
Empty the Hopper
At the end of the winter season, inspect the hopper for unused pellets. Store the remaining pellets for the beginning of the season. In case you forgot to empty it, the chance of causing rust in pellet stove becomes very high, as pellet collects moisture of air during spring and summer.
If you follow the above tips and guideline, it will make pellet stove safe while using it. Furthermore, above pellet stove maintenance will definitely increase the lifetime of the stove.