Pellet stoves are a great way to save money and keep warm during those lazy winter months at home. Owning a wood stove or a pellet stove means localized heat, constant warmth, and regular maintenance and cleaning. Each stove comes with a recommended interval of cleaning and maintenance, so be sure to refer to your owners manual to learn the interval at which you need to clean your stove!
Basic Stove Cleaning
Most stoves will need to be cleaned at an interval of about 3-4 days (twice a week). It’s critical to proper function of the stove that this basic cleaning and maintenance is carried out regularly. Twice a week, make sure you:
- Remove all ash from the burn box and firebox. (Use an ash vacuum for this!)
- Use the cleaning tool that came with you stove to scrape away any built up carbon deposits. (Only use tools made for this purpose to avoid damage to your machine)
- Remove the baffle(s) that cover your heat exchange tubes/fins.
- Clean the exchanger of carbon deposits by pulling out or pushing in the lever in the front of on top of the wood pellets stove several times. (if the deposits won’t remove, use a wire brush to remove it)
- Vacuum the firebox again to remove any remaining ash.
- Wash the glass with an approved window cleaner.
One way to ensure a properly working pellet stove is to use higher quality pellets. At Koopman Lumber, we trust Lignetics Wood Pellets to be high-quality wood pellets sold at a price that won’t break the bank. If you want a pellet stove that keeps on working, make sure you fuel it with Lignetics Wood Pellets.
Monthly Stove Cleaning
There are a few tasks that you should tackle every month (or at the end of every ton of pellets burned).
- Clean blower motor and fan using a small paint brush and vacuum. Remove all dirt buildup if possible.
- Inspect gaskets around the door and hopper lid. If there is any residue, clean it and replace them if necessary.
Monthly cleaning isn’t as bad as you expected right? It’s just a few more tasks on top of an already pretty quick cleaning process.
Annual Pellets Stove Cleaning
At the end of every year, you should give your stove a proper “goodbye for now” cleaning before covering it. Think of it as it’s “cleaning hibernation.” You’re going to get dirty on this one, so make sure you dress for the occasion!
- Start by removing all the pellets from the stove.
- Vacuum out all debris and ash.
- Inspect the hopper, auger plate, and pressure/latch switches for debris or wear.
- Clean or vacuum the chimney, removing all the ash from the liner.
- Vent the exhaust.
- Clean and lubricate the combustion and convection blowers as needed.
- Clean and lubricate the auger motor as needed.
- Give a quick visual inspection of all electrical wiring, heat switches, and vacuum sensors.
- Clean the glass door.
- Test the electrical sensors and igniter for continuity and to make sure they’re in working order.
- Startup the stove one last time to make sure everything is in working order.
Tips and Warnings
There are a few things you should bear in mind and a few mistakes you should NEVER make when cleaning your stove. Those are all found here, so read them carefully!
- Use HEPA filters rated for fine dust or an ash vacuum to avoid blowing ash around your home.
- Always remove remaining pellets at the end of the heating season to prevent stove corrosion.
- Unplug your stove every time you clean it. ESPECIALLY if you’re using water.
- Wait until your stove cools completely before cleaning.
- Thoroughly clean the outside of your stove.
- Use the good pellets in your stove! It’ll thank you!
A nice clean stove, a nice warm home. The small things add up and by following what’s outlined above you can improve your stove’s lifespan by years! If you have any question, then be sure to reach out to us here at Koopman Lumber!