Did you know that around 2 percent of homes in the United States of America are heated by wood heat from a wood stove or pellet stove? It’s hard to beat the heat that a wood stove produces on a cold and windy winter day, and it’s a sure way to give your home the charm of a rustic cabin with modern creature comforts.
While the heat that your home’s pellet stove produces is great, there are steps that you need to take in order to keep it working at a high level. You don’t want to put yourself or your family in danger due to a lack of maintenance for your pellet fireplace.
The good news is that you’ve found the right place for some helpful maintenance tips for your wood stove this winter. Keep reading this article to learn more today!
Use Quality Pellets
The maintenance of your pellet stove starts with choosing the wood pellets that you plan to burn for your home’s heat source. Similar to using a higher quality of gasoline, quality pellet stoves will allow your pellet fireplace to burn in a more efficient manner. You might spend more money on the pellets going this route, but you’ll save yourself a ton of work and grant yourself peace of mind.
Pellets that are of poor quality will lead to a larger build-up of soot in the fireplace, which will take longer to clean. You’ll find that paying a bit more is worth the hours of time that you’ll get back when it’s time to clean your wood stove.
A good rule of thumb is to look for wood pellets that have less than a ten percent moisture content. You also need to check to see if your wood stove is one of the types of stoves that can burn corn kernels and wood shavings in addition to wood pellets.
Check Your Ash Content
Another key area that you shouldn’t overlook when it comes to your pellet fireplace is the ash content of the pellets that you’re using. Some stoves are meant to work with pellets that have a lower ash content while others are designed to burn pellets that produce more ash.
Feeding your pellet stove the wrong type of pellets could cause it to produce a sort of gum that clogs the stove and prevents efficient heating. Always double-check to make sure that you’re buying and burning the right wood pellets before you start up your stove in the morning. You don’t want to do any damage to your 3 inch pellet stove pipe in the middle of a big winter storm.
If the hopper for your wood stove is on the top then odds are that you should use wood pellets that are the low ash variety. You also need to be careful if you’re planning on using continuous-feed hoppers as it’s possible for them to get filled up with sawdust. Do your due diligence with your pellet supplies before the temperature starts to drop!
Get Your Pellet Stove Serviced
The best approach to pellet stove maintenance is to schedule an annual maintenance appointment for it each year in the fall. You need to make sure that your wood stove is ready to go for the first morning when the temps are starting to drop. A professional technician will have no problem identifying parts that need to get replaced for safe stove operation.
Odds are that the technician will check out your hopper, augur, combustion motor, pressure sensors, and more. They’ll also make sure that the firewalls in your wood stove are still intact while preparing the chamber for operation. It’s possible that you’ll need to hire a specialist to take care of cleaning your stove’s pipe.
If the technician identifies that parts are getting worn down then they’ll lubricate them for better operations or replace them. It’s a great chance to spot any issues before it’s too late into winter.
Invest in a Soot Sweep
Efficiency is the name of the game when you’re using wood heat to warm up your home in the middle of the winter months. You need to stay on top of sweeping your stove at least once each week to keep it running at the highest levels. It allows your stove to burn better since there isn’t a ton of ash or soot in the burning chamber taking up space.
You should also look into cleaning the hopper out every week to prevent a build-up of sawdust. You don’t need a cleaning set to take care of cleaning the hopper but it will make the task much quicker and easier. Make sure that you’re setting time aside to let your stove cool off so that you can get all of the soot out before the next burn session.
Clean the Stove’s Window
Don’t overlook the importance of cleaning the window on your wood or pellet stove. You need to keep the ash and soot from blacking out the window on your pellet stove so that you can see how the pellets are burning. It doesn’t take long for ash and soot to take your window from crystal clear to blacked out.
Always allow the glass to cool down before you start cleaning it during your weekly maintenance day. Your owner’s manual should tell you about the proper steps to take in order to keep the window looking pristine. A rag that is dampened with vinegar is an effective home remedy if you need to clean the window sooner than later.
Invest in a Pellet Stove for Your Home’s Heat
Getting a pellet stove is a great idea if you love the feeling and charm of wood heat but you want more efficiency from your wood stove. Make sure that you’re buying high-quality pellets that are designed for use in your pellet fireplace. You should also set aside some time each week to remove any ash and clean the window of your pellet stove.
For more exciting articles like this one, check out the rest of our blog page today!