Here’s how to keep your pellet stove operating and burning at its best. Be sure to also reference the owner’s manual, since various brands and models operate slightly differently.
Your pellet stove should be cleaned and inspected at least once a year, or each time you’ve burned a ton of pellets through it. You can inspect and clean it yourself by carefully following the owner’s manual instructions, or you can hire a pro from your local hearth dealer. In addition to cleaning the stove, he or she will inspect vital components like the auger, motor, hopper, switches, blowers, wiring, seals, sensors and exhaust pipes.
During the winter months when your stove is working hard, it needs some attention. On a regular basis, you should clean the ash out of the burn chamber area and the ash pan, scrape the burn pot, and keep vital components free of ash, such as the airwash system (if your stove has one) and venting. Your owner’s manual will have instructions specific to your stove.
When the stove is completely cool, you can clean the viewing glass. Use a soft cloth and a glass cleaner specially formulated for wood or pellet stove glass. Don’t scrape the glass with any sharp objects! Scratches can compromise the integrity and strength of the glass.
While working on your stove, we’d recommend wearing safety glasses and heat resistant gloves. Ashes can be a real fire hazard, so be sure to deposit them in a metal container with a lid and store it far away from any combustible materials.
And here’s some food for thought – some pellet stoves require less maintenance than others. Good examples are stoves manufactured by Quadra-Fire. Quadra-Fire pellet stoves are outfitted with today’s most advanced technologies for making heating with pellets as easy as possible for you.
We recommend using premium-grade pellets whenever possible. They’ll burn more efficiently and produce less ash than low-grade pellets, meaning you’ll need to clean your stove less often. If you aren’t sure how a certain grade of pellets will perform in your stove, buy a small amount (2-3 bags) and burn it through before stocking up.
Follow these suggestions and your pellet stove should be operating at its best this winter!