What are the routine things that I do to keep my
stove working right?
Routine maintenance tasks are essential to peak stove performance:
- Burn pot . Checked daily and cleaned periodically to keep air
inlets open. Frequency of cleaning depends on fuel type, grade, and
- Ash drawer (. Emptying recommended before starting new fires and
occasionally by interrupting stove operation. Frequency depends on
fuel and stove design. Typically once or twice a week, but monthly
in some new designs.
- Heat exchanger On some stoves, simply a matter of moving a rod
that scrapes the tubes inside the stove. May require professional
service on others.
- Ash traps. Chambers located behind the fire chamber which
prevent excess fly ash in the exhaust from exiting the stove. Easily
accessed for ash removal by owners in some designs; on others
requires professional service.
- Glass. Cleaned with glass cleaner when the glass is completely
cool on stoves with effective air wash systems. May require more
vigorous methods on others.
- Hopper. Checked for accumulated sawdust materials (fines). Fuel
in the hopper and auger tube should be run out occasionally to
prevent auger blockage by fines.
What are some of the more advanced maintenance tasks?
venting system is usually performed by professionals , but can be tackled by
the handy stove owner with thorough knowledge and the right equipment.
Motors and fans need occasional cleaning and may require lubrication. The
wrong lubricant or wrong amount of lubricant can damage components. Some
components which call for removal for service require replacement of a
gasket . Gaskets for the fire chamber door, ash pan door, and hopper lid (on
some designs) may need occasional replacement to assure a tight seal.
What professional maintenance and repair services will I need?
pellet stove owners depend on professional service for cleaning and
preventive maintenance on at least an annual basis. Many dealers offer
service plans that offer reduced costs and convenient scheduling. Cleaning
and maintenance services usually performed include:
- Emptying ash traps and cleaning exhaust passages behind the fire
- Cleaning and lubricating fans and motors.
- Cleaning the hopper and fuel feed system.
- Cleaning the heat exchanger system.
- Cleaning exhaust pipes and resealing the venting system if
- Verifying and adjusting the stove settings with proper gauges
- Mechanical and electric components may eventually wear out and
need repair or replacement.
Many manufacturers now offer low cost, high value extended warranty on
electrical components. You can also benefit from professional advice that
helps you improve stove performance and convenience with operating tips or
advice on fuel.
How do I select a service technician?
Finding competent in-home
service should really be part of the buying decision, since service is
needed at least on an annual basis. Many stove shops and service technicians
offer a service plan that specifies a service schedule, what is covered,
travel costs, and other details. One way to assess service is to ask for
references. Another is to look for technicians who have taken the national
exam to become certified by the non-profit HEARTH Education Foundation.
ENJOYMENT AND SATISFACTION
What will I like about heating with pellets?
burners reap rewards for shopping and planning carefully and learning to
operate and maintain their pellet heating system. They understand that
pellet stoves contribute dramatic improvement in convenience to the long
tradition of the hearth. The fuel itself is easily and cleanly stored and
handled in bags. A single loading of a pellet stove can provide long hours
of warmth. Pellet stoves also provide a special comfort associated with wood
burning. The combination of fans delivering warm air currents and the direct
comfort of radiant heat provides special satisfaction on a cold winter day.
The heat provided is even and constant, due to the automatically regulated
fuel feed responding to owner settings. Pellet stoves offer strong
environmental benefits. Pellets not only reduce dependence on finite
supplies of fossils fuels like oil and gas, but they also put to good use
materials that would otherwise unnecessarily and expensively add to our
waste disposal problems. In addition, pellet stoves burn very cleanly and
offer the lowest emissions of unwanted pollutants in solid fuel burning
appliances. Burning biomass