When it was time to shut down your stove for the summer, did you take the time to do so properly? Probably the most important part of shutting down for the summer is removing all leftover residue and pellets. If you have moisture inside your stove, the leftover pellets will absorb it. This can cause rust to form, which could lead to costly damage.
If you didn’t shut down properly, or if your stove hasn’t had a thorough cleaning in some time – you should consider scheduling one before the heating season begins. A bonus of having a technician work on your stove clean-up is that he or she is able to check on all the stove parts that might need replacement or adjustment.
Aside from the standard ash removal and general maintenance, your wood pellet stove needs additional care not only for safety and preparedness, but also for efficiency. Pellet stoves work off of pressurized air, which is drawn from the exhaust – so pet hair, dander, dust and lint are constantly sucked in. If all the passages within your stove haven’t been cleaned out, or your exhaust hasn’t been cleared of debris – air cannot properly circulate.
It’s definitely helpful to check your owner’s manual for more insight on this, and to learn more about your pellet stove overall. It’s packed with model-specific information regarding proper stove maintenance, best practices and warranty information – but it’s often overlooked.
Whether you’re taking care of your pellet stove cleaning yourself, or hiring a professional – here’s what the checklist should include for a thorough cleaning:
- Check Unit for Visible Defects, Ash, Discoloring
- Vacuum Inside of Unit
- Remove Baffles – Clean and Reinstall
- Clean and Inspect Heat Exchanger
- Remove Access Doors/Panels – Vacuum and Reinstall
- Clean and Inspect
- Heat Exchanger
- Burn Pot
- Ash Pan
- Convection Fan
- Combustion Fan
- Pressure Switch/Hose
- Tee and Venting
- Electrical Wiring
- Auger Motor(s)*
- Venting Seals
- Inspect Hopper for Pellet Quality and Excess Fines
- Vacuum Back of Stove
- Check and Lubricate Shaker Grate Cam*
*May not be applicable on some stove models.