How to Maintain Pellet Stoves

Pellet stoves use fuel made from recycled sawdust to heat your home. Burning pellets is an environmentally friendly option because they are efficient and do not produce as much ash and soot as traditional wood stoves. Pellet stoves require some maintenance, and this guide will show you to take care of your pellet stove.


  1. Image titled Maintain Pellet Stoves Step 1
    Burn quality pellets in your pellet stove. When maintaining pellet stoves, you need to make sure that you put dry, clean pellets into the pellet hopper.
    • Wet pellets will decompose and may clog up the auger system. The auger feeds the pellets to the burn pot, and if the auger gets wet pellets stuck in it, your pellet stove will not function.
    • When burning pellets, buy 1 bag of pellets and try them out before you purchase a large quantity for your stove. Inexpensive pellets may crumble and clog the auger.
  2. Image titled Maintain Pellet Stoves Step 2
    Clean your pellet stove. The burn pot, ash drawer, heat exchanger and glass need to be cleaned regularly.
    • The burn pot, the bowl where the burning pellets sit, has vents that provide airflow to keep the pellets lit. Follow manufacturer's instructions on when and how to clean your burn pot. Usually, you can vacuum it out with a vacuum cleaner.
    • Empty the ash drawer out 1 to 2 times a week, depending on how much you use the pellet stove, and whenever you start a new fire. You may empty the ash drawer while the stove is running.
    • Clean the heat exchanger according to manufacturer's instructions. The heat exchanger filters the hot air that the burning pellets make. Maintaining pellet stoves requires that you take care of the heat exchanger. Usually, you may clean the surface of the heat exchanger with a special tool called a cleaning rod.
    • Use fire stove glass cleaner and a damp rag to clean the glass door on the pellet stove when it gets covered with soot. Let your stove cool off before you clean your pellet stove glass. You may also clean the glass by dipping a damp cloth in ash and rubbing it on the glass.
  3. Image titled Maintain Pellet Stoves Step 3
    Inspect your hopper and auger every time you add pellets.
    • Maintaining pellet stoves includes checking the hopper and auger for debris and sawdust that could clog the system.
    • Add 1 bag of pellets at a time, and let them run completely through the system before adding another bag.
    • If the auger has sawdust stuck in it, clean your pellet stove auger out with a vacuum cleaner, and use a knife, screwdriver or ice pick to remove the clog.
  4. Image titled Maintain Pellet Stoves Step 4
    Service your pellet stove every year to have the pipes, venting system and ash traps cleaned and inspected by a professional. Maintaining pellet stoves properly may cost a little money, but often, when you buy your pellet stove, it comes with a service agreement.
    • If you have a chimney brush, you may clean the pipes yourself. Burning pellets creates soot build up in the pipes over time, and if not cleaned, the soot could create a chimney fire.
    • The ash traps stop extra ash from collecting in the exhaust system. Some pellet stoves have ash traps that you may access and clean yourself.
    • The venting system keeps the proper airflow so that your pellet stove burns fuel efficiently. When maintaining pellet stoves, a professional should service the vents.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Manufacturer's instructions
  • Cleaning rod
  • Fire stove glass cleaner
  • Damp rag
  • Knife, screwdriver or ice pick
  • Chimney brush

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Environmental Awareness