Product and Storage Tips
Remember... The first thing you should do when you encounter a problem with your pellet burning appliance is to review the instructional video and/or manual supplied with your stove. If you cannot resolve the problem, then contact your retailer for additional instructions. To ensure optimum performance from your pellet stove perform the following maintenance procedures regularly.
**Your stove may or may not be equipped with the items listed below.**
- Adhere to the cleaning & maintenance schedule as outlined in your owners manual.
- Store your fuel in a clean dry place.
- Occasionally clean your hopper of pellets and fines.
- Regularly clean and inspect your vent system.
- Clean and lubricate fans as suggested.
- Never use your household vacuum to clean the firebox of your stove.
- Inspect and clean the fire box and vent system ash traps as suggested.
- Keep air filters clean.
- Clean your heat exchanger as recommended.
- Inspect and clean the burnpot if necessary.
- Inspect and adjust door seals.
Dirty/Sooty Combustion Chamber Burn
- Review proper adjustment of any air dampers if your stove is so equipped.
- Remove any excess ash, carbon or clinkers from the burnpot.
- Clean any air filters or air inlets to the appliance.
- Remove ( if possible ) the burnpot and clean the air openings in the burngrate.
- Inspect the burnpot and burngrate for proper fit and possible air leaks. Note: Many stoves are equipped with gaskets in this area that should also be inspected.
- Inspect door and window seals for leaks.
- Clean firebox and vent ash traps.
- If possible, re-adjust your air and fuel feed rates for a leaner burn. This is an adjustment that may need to be performed by an authorized stove technician.
Also carried out through the vent pipe are small amounts of very fine ash. This ash can eventually build up and block the vent if not properly cared for. Many stoves have ash bins or traps to capture the ash in the firebox or vent outlet prior to reaching the vent that require occasional cleaning. In the event that your vent pipe should become blocked, a small amount of smoke may leak into your home. Most pellet burning appliances are equipped with a safety switch that will interrupt its operation and minimize any possible exposure. A regular inspection and cleaning schedule should be maintained to ensure proper operation. While inspecting the vent system, particular attention should be paid to the assembly joints for possible leaks. Leaky joints may cause poor performance as well as result in exhaust gases and ash leaking into the home. Many stove manufacturers recommend the use of high temperature silicon sealant on the exhaust vent joints to prevent leaks. Additionally, it is suggested that you only use a vacuum that is specifically designed for cleaning wood and pellet stoves. A standard household vacuum cleaner does not have the proper filter that is needed to trap the very fine ash produced by a pellet stove and will force that fine ash into your home creating a thin film of dust on your furniture. It is always recommended that a non-combustible pail with a lid be used to remove ashes from your home and that ashes always be disposed of safely.
As you can see the operation of your pellet burning appliance may not be as complicated as you may have thought. There are many things that you, as a consumer, can personally do to ensure its proper operation. You may wish to review your owners manual or video at this time to acquaint yourself with the appropriate operation, cleaning and maintenance schedule for your particular stove.
Tips For Fall
Don't forget to do your annual maintenance and service before lighting the stove this Fall. Clean your venting. Oil your motors if necessary. If you had left over fuel from last year, do not use it if it has picked up any moisture. Watch for bird nests or other critters in venting.