Wood Pellet Stove Best Practices and Troubleshooting

Wood Pellet Stove Best Practices and TroubleshootingFall is in full swing, and the upcoming winter has been predicted to be a cold and snowy one for the northeast. If you haven’t already fired up your pellet stove for the heating season, it’s likely that you will be soon.

Read: Farmers’ Almanac Releases Winter Weather 2017-18 Forecast

This time of year, we like to remind the wood pellet community about best practices and troubleshooting tips. Being an informed pellet stove owner makes it easier to have an safe and efficient heating season.

For starters, find your owner’s manual and read it. Every stove is different, so this is where you’ll find some of the best advice for your pellet stove. From proper maintenance, to best practices and warranty information – your manual is packed with model-specific information.

If your stove hasn’t had an extensive cleaning in some time – you should consider scheduling a professional appointment. Even if you prefer to manage cleaning yourself, a bonus of having a technician check-up is that he or she is able to check on all the stove parts that might need replacement or adjustment. Furthermore, an improperly kept stove can impact your burn quality, which can lead to some headaches later.

Read: What a Professional Wood Pellet Stove Cleaning Should Look Like

While we recommend a professional cleaning once or twice a year, thorough cleanings should also be done once or twice a month. If you have the right tools, it shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes to complete. A scraper, stiff brush and ash vacuum with special dust bags will make this task easier for you.

Read: How to Clean Your Pellet Stove Quickly and Correctly

High quality wood pellets will significantly improve your burn experience. Check out the specifications on the pellets you’re considering. Look at the ash percentage, and know that the higher the percentage, the more frequent your cleanings will need to be. Higher quality pellets will have lower ash percentages, and therefore less maintenance.

Even when burning the most premium wood pellets, your stove needs the right balance of feed rate, air flow, and heat settings to operate efficiently. If your settings aren’t properly synced, you could have issues.

Below is a quick reference guide on the most commonly experienced problems matched with their likely culprits.

The Problem The Likely Culprit The Solution
Poor burn quality Dirty stove Clean your stove according to your manufacturer’s recommendations.
Blackened glass Burning on ‘low’ Adjust heat setting to medium or medium/high.
Excessive clinkers Airflow leak Clean all vents, check and repair/replace all gaskets, adjust damper or airflow setting.
Trouble igniting Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by increasing air flow.
Lazy or small flame Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by increasing air flow and/or decreasing feed rate.
Low heat output Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by increasing air flow and/or increasing feed rate.
Sparks flying / embers in the ash pot Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by decreasing air flow and/or decreasing feed rate.
Whole, charred pellets left in the burn pot Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by decreasing air flow and/or decreasing feed rate.
Auger jamming / stove shutting down Long pellets Drop bags on the floor – this can break long pellets into a manageable length.
Excessive ash build up / whole, charred pellets in burn pot Short pellets Reduce feed rate.

If you’re a Woodpellets.com customer experiencing burn issues…don’t worry. Our Quality Certified fuels are backed by a Quality Guarantee valid for a full 30 days after your delivery date. Learn more here: Woodpellets.com Quality Guarantee

Questions? Call 1-800-PELLETS to Speak to an Expert!

How Heavy Snow Can Affect Your Wood Pellet Stove

Pellet Stove Vent BlockageThe venting on your wood pellet stove can be installed horizontally, vertically or both. The exterior vent allows for proper air flow within the stove, and for the escape of exhaust. If it’s blocked by dense snow – your stove’s ability to ignite and/or stay burning efficiently could be hindered.

A common exhaust setup is horizontal – straight through the exterior wall (See Fig. A). If your wood pellets aren’t burning through fully – this blockage could be the reason…because the exiting air is an important part of your stove’s operation.  (See Figure B).

A similar kind of venting is through the wall with a vertical rise (See Figure C). Vertical piping raises the exhaust further up the exterior wall. This kind of setup creates less risk of snow blockage. However, there’s a possibility of some blockage by strong snow drifts, or a very large snow accumulation.

Pellet stoves can also have exhaust vents exiting through the roof – with some variations  (See Figure D). If your roof has heavy snow piled up that hasn’t slid off or been pushed off, the vent could be blocked.

Proper air flow is key for efficient pellet stove operation. Make sure to check for blockage – no matter how your stove is vented.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your pellet burning experience. 

Woodpellets.com Quality Certified fuels are backed by a Quality Guarantee, which is valid for a full 30 days after your delivery date.

 

Call 1-800-PELLETS to Speak to an Expert!

 

 

An Informed Wood Pellet Burner is a Successful Wood Pellet Burner

Wood Pellet Colors
If you purchased the pellet stove in your home, you probably did a lot of research by reading reviews, comparing prices, learning about available features, and so on. How much do you look into pellets before you make a purchase? It’s a good idea to check out the brand’s heat and ash specifications before you buy. The higher the ash percentage, the more leftover ash you’ll experience – which correlates to how frequent your cleanings will be. Higher quality pellets have lower ash percentages, which means less maintenance for you. As for the heat output, the higher the BTU/lb number, the hotter the burn of course.

Read more

Welcoming South Shore Wood Pellets Customers

Woodpellets.com Partners with South Shore Wood Pellets to Help Cover Former Customers with Quality Wood Pellets, Expert Customer Service and Convenient Delivery Options. Although the Massachusetts-based South Shore Wood Pellets permanently closed this year, the owner of SSWP felt it was important to redirect his customers to a reliable vendor that would provide the high level of premium products and service they are used to. That’s where we come in.

The team at Woodpellets.com has been working together with South Shore Wood Pellets to make sure former patrons are covered. We are a local New Hampshire company celebrating our 10th anniversary in business. We have withstood all the challenges over the years by focusing on one thing; our valued customers.

We proudly offer the highest quality wood pellets and bricks, convenient home delivery to your driveway or garage, and a team of experts to answer your questions – including troubleshooting and service needs. We have grown to become one of the most reliable and largest pellet retailers in the Northeast.

Read more

What Happens to Wet Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are made of super condensed fine wood particles, held together only by natural sap within the original wood fiber. If you’re curious about the wood pellet creation process, check out our post about
how wood pellets are made. Premium wood pellets burn so hot and so easily because of their very low moisture content. Unfortunately, these little heat powerhouses are unable to withstand direct contact with water. The time lapse video below will show exactly what happens when pellets become wet.

As you can see, the water expands the pellets and breaks them down into their original state of sawdust. If pellets have expanded after moisture contact, they are not usable in your pellet stove. (On the bright side – expanded wood pellets make for great natural horse bedding and kitty litter!)

Read more

Quality Assurance and Convenient Delivery – What Makes Woodpellets.com Different

Two of the main contributing factors to what makes the Woodpellets.com experience different are – product quality assurance and the convenient delivery system. In order to explain these processes accurately, we let Joy (Quality Assurance Manager) and Dan (Delivery Logistics Manager) describe their main responsibilities – in their own words.

Quality Assurance Manager: My primary function is to work for our customers.  I am the before, during and after the order point of contact – from Customer Service, to the burn experience at home.  Basically, the service doesn’t stop with the delivery – because I’m there to make sure user expectations are met and (hopefully) exceeded.

Read more

Pellet Stove Problem Questions – Answered by a Professional Stove Technician

I Keep Getting Clinkers in My Burn Pot. What is Causing This?

PelletStoveClinkerClinkers, which look like clumps of ash, can cause airflow issues from blockage. Clinkers are formed by burned or partially burned pellets that melt together into a clump.

There are two likely reasons for clinkers – a poor air mixture which due to a neglected or dity unit, or incorrect air adjustments.

My Pellet Stove Won’t Ignite.

There are a variety of reasons for your pellet stove failing to light.  The most common reasons – bad air flow, a dirty unit, bad igniter, blown fuse, bad gasket around igniter – could be easily avoided with regular maintenance and professional inspections.

Read more

Top 5 Wood Pellet Myths Explained

Myth #1: Hardwood Pellets are Better than Softwood

Wood Pellets

Preference for hardwood over softwood has its origins in the firewood burning community. It has long been considered better to burn hardwood in your wood stove or fireplace because it provides a longer burn compared to softwood. The main reason that hardwood burns better than softwood in wood stoves/fireplaces has to do with wood density (hardwood is more dense than softwood).

However, with wood pellets the advantages of hardwood are neutralized by the pelletizing process. Both hard and softwood material is dried to the same moisture level, of about 4-5%. Furthermore, regardless of the type of wood used to produce the pellets, the pelletizing process produces wood pellets with the same density.  Once the moisture and density variance has been removed during the manufacturing process, softwood comes out ahead in terms of heat and performance.

But why does softwood produce hotter pellets with less ash? Biomass Magazine explains: “softwood has a higher percentage of resin content than hardwood, which will produce more heat per pound.”

The choice between hardwood and softwood pellets is entirely up to the consumer. There are some very high quality hardwood pellets available in the market that perform very well, but for the most part, softwood pellets will typically provide you with more heat for your money.

Read more

The First Day of Fall is Here

Happy Heating SeasonToday is the first official day of Fall! This means it’s time for apple picking, pumpkin carving and soon…..firing up your wood and/or pellet stoves!

We can assure you that we are working diligently to get orders out to our customers as quickly as we can. However, pellets cannot be delivered immediately after ordering. (Lead times vary by region.) If you haven’t ordered your wood pellets or wood bricks yet, we strongly encourage you do so as soon as possible in order to secure your fuel and get into our delivery queue. It’s not our supply we are warning you about, because we have considerably more pellets than our customers have ordered from us, at any given time. We are just providing a friendly reminder to place your order sooner rather than later to get higher on our delivery list.

Whether you choose to stick with us this year, try us out for the first time, or order elsewhere…order as soon as you’re able. Our customer service representatives are standing by at 1-800-PELLETS, and our website (www.woodpellets.com) is always available for orders, 24/7.

 

Thank you, and Happy Fall!

12

Recent Tweets

});