Fall is in the air and of course you know what that means. It’s time to get your pellet stove ready for cold weather to come. When that first real cold morning does come along you don’t want to discover your pellet stove is not working properly. It would be much more desirable to easily start a fire and get all toasty and warm than trying to figure out why it won’t work right. It is always a good idea to inspect your pellet stove throughout the year to ensure it operates properly when you need it and to prevent your pellet stove fans and auger motor from burning out.
Remove & Clean The Exhaust Piping
On the top or back of your pellet stove, you have an exhaust pipe and venting system. This allows the smoke from your pellet stove to be pushed outside. This pipe should be cleaned every year before the start of the winter heating season. To clean it, start by removing the vent cap. There is usually some ash build up around this area where the venting makes a T-shape, so make sure that you clean that area well. The easiest way to clean out the ash is to use a shop vacuum.
Remove & Clean The Pellet Stove Fans
The next step is to clean the fans. Your pellet stove probably has two fans. One fan is the combustion fan and the other is the distribution fan. When you remove the fans, use your vacuum cleaner to get any ash or soot that is stuck around them. Brush away any soot that has built up around them you should easily be able to vacuum it up.
Look over the gasket seals around your fans and see if they are still in good shape. It is possible they may need a little oil in order to keep then operating effectively. If they appear to be cracked or look really worn out, you will want to remove them and replace them with new before putting the fans back in place. You can use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe down the fan blades before putting them back.
Clean All The Panels
The panels on your pellet stove are the next items that need to be cleaned. Take out the inner firebox and wipe it down. Remove the panels that cover up the top heat exchange and move onto the firewall panels. Finally, if your pellet stove has any ash traps, you will want to remove those and clean them as well. If possible, all panels should be removed, vacuumed, and wiped off to remove any soot and dust that can accumulate before they are put back on your pellet stove.
Vacuum The Hopper
The last thing on your list is to clean is the hopper. Remove any pellets you may still have in it. Old pellets may not burn properly as they get exposed to the humidity throughout the summer months. They can also damage your pellet stove’s motor. It’s a good idea to periodically dust the inside of your hopper throughout the winter to keep the dust down to a minimum.
Your pellet stove gives added comfort to your home and with proper care, you can enjoy the heat if offers for many years to come.