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Important Things to Know About Cleaning Your Pellet Stove

If you purchased a pellet stove, you’re probably already a dedicated advocate of clean and renewable energy. While you’ve already made huge strides toward making your heating system energy efficient, you can make sure your pellet stove continues to work at peak efficiency by cleaning it on a regular basis.

Tips for cleaning your pellet stoveWell-maintained pellet stoves not only work more efficiently, but will last longer as well. Regular cleaning is a big step in the right direction for getting the most out of your stove. Here are five steps to keep your pellet stove clean, which will also help you keep your energy costs to a minimum.

Read your owner’s manual
Your owner’s manual is a great resource that will tell you the proper way to clean your stove. In addition to cleaning instructions, the owner’s manual will also contain a maintenance schedule that will keep your pellet stove running at peak efficiency. While you’ll get an owner’s manual with your new stove, American Energy Systems provides an online version of all the owner’s manuals for its products. By accessing the online version, you can keep yourself aware of any updates that may have been made to the manual for your stove.

Schedule an annual chimney cleaning
If you’re using a wood stove, traditional fireplace or heating appliance that uses a chimney, it’s important to have your chimney cleaned by a professional on a regular basis. The best time to do this is typically before the heating season. Wood pellet stove and corn stove owners don’t necessarily use existing chimneys, but have venting systems designed specifically for pellet and corn stoves that need to be cleaned.

Keep soot to a minimum
While pellet stoves allow fuel - whether it’s wood, corn or another biofuel – to be consumed at ultimate efficiency, soot will still begin to accumulate in your stove. Sweeping the inside of your stove on a regular basis will allow it to function more efficiently. Use a wire brush to clean your stove and remove any waste. Clean the flue vent as well. If the inside of your stove is coated with even as little as one-tenth inch of soot, it can drop the heat transfer efficiency of the metal by 50 percent, according to energysavers.gov

Inspect your fuel for dust or dirt
Impurities in your fuel source, whether you have a corn or wood pellet stove, can lead to the development of klinkers – hard-to-remove deposits. If klinkers do form, it’s important to note that it’s not the end of the world and happens no matter what in many pellet stoves. For a guide for removing klinkers, check out our blog post on the topic. 

Clean at the end of the season
Remove all unused pellets when the heating season is over. Leaving unused pellets and other debris in your pellet stove when it’s not being used for a long period of time can cause it to settle and adhere to the stove, making for difficult cleaning when cold weather sets in again. Unused pellets can also cause your stove to rust.

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