You purchased your pellet stove to heat your home more efficiently, but even a well-maintained pellet stove may present some common problems from time to time. Fortunately, there are a few trouble-shooting tips that can keep your pellet stove burning like it’s supposed to.
If your pellet stove isn’t burning well
If you notice that your stove isn’t burning pellets as well as it should or producing as much heat as it was, air flow may be to blame. Check the stove’s door to make sure it is sealing securely and that no air is escaping through the door. A blocked air inlet cap also could be to blame. If your inlet cap becomes blocked, you might notice that pellets are not burning entirely. Clean the cap manually to make sure it is not blocked, and inspect it for any damage or leaks. A failing inlet cap can be replaced, if needed.
If you notice soot or smoke
If you notice that your pellet stove is producing soot or smoke, your stove likely has a problem with its burn pot. Clean the burn pot by removing any accumulated debris. If this does not remedy the problem, clean the vent and ensure that it has been installed correctly — Vent elbows should be 90 degrees or less and should not be more than 10 inches horizontally at any point.
If your pellets aren’t feeding properly
If your pellets aren’t feeding properly through the system, turn on the power and visually inspect the feeding system. Then, clear any debris from the auger to avoid any jams, and check the motor to make sure it is turning the auger properly. Oil the motor, if needed.
Avoiding pellet stove problems
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and you can avoid many common pellet stove problems with regular cleaning and maintenance. Of course, you will first want to check your stove’s owner’s manual for recommended cleaning and maintenance, but there are some general guidelines.
Remove ash from the stove approximately every three days, and undertake a thorough cleaning of your stove, including the burn pot, glass, firewalls, heat exchange and ash pan, approximately once a week. Your owner’s manual likely includes additional recommendations for monthly maintenance. Also, burning only high-quality pellets will help your stove to run cleanly and efficiently. High-quality pellets prevent debris from building up in your pellet stove, preventing common problems such as poor pellet feeding, blocked inlet caps and burn-pot buildup.
Finally, regular professional maintenance of your pellet stove will ensure that it continues to burn efficiently. Your pellet stove should be professionally cleaned and inspected at least once a year, or after every two tons of pellets it burns. A professional pellet-stove service technician can make sure that there are no blocks or failures in your pellet-stove system, helping you to catch and repair minor pellet stove problems before they become big problems.
Check out this video from our sister store The Cozy Flame on how to properly clean out your Pellet stove.
For an annual pellet stove cleaning or have questions about your pellet stove, contact the experts at Total Chimney Care at 203-874-6772.