Whether it is part of your spring cleaning routine, the end of the cold season or you’ve just decided that it’s looking a bit shabby; cleaning a pellet stove will brighten up the room that it’s in as well as helping it to function more efficiently. There are, of course, some basic safety reasons behind cleaning a pellet stove that you should do on a regular basis. So we’ll look at both the routine things you need to do and the things that you can do occasionally to get your Pellet stove looking and working like new. However, before setting about cleaning a Pellet stove do make sure it’s cooled down and the electrics are off.
Cleaning the Ash Pan and Burn Pot
Emptying the burn pot is a task you should do once a day that the Pellet stove is in use, or if it’s not been used for a while check that it is empty before getting it going again. Unless you want to risk creating a lot of dust in the room you’re best advised to lift the burn pot out of the stove and empty it somewhere outside. When re-installing the burn pot, make sure you’re putting it back ‘right way around’.
You’re also advised to empty the grid below the combustion chamber at least every other day. This can again be taken completely out, like a drawer, and emptied outside. Finally use your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust that’s fallen during these two procedures.
The ash pan also needs regularly emptying, probably not less than once a week. This again can be easily withdrawn and emptied outside, with the ash pan out you can also vacuum the chamber under the burn pot. Make sure you put the ash pan back in the right way around too.
Cleaning the Glass Window
Most modern pellet stoves will have self-cleaning windows. However, these tend to only work at full efficiency when the stove is working to its maximum heat capacity. Irregular drafts and poor quality fuel pellets can quickly cause a buildup of deposits on the glass.
Ash deposits should be easily removed with a dry cloth, the glass can then be further cleaned with a window chamois or any of the domestic glass cleaners from your DIY store. Also, don’t forget the old fashioned trick of cleaning glass with crumpled up newspaper – and do make sure the glass is thoroughly cooled before touching it.
Cleaning the Flue
At least once a year, possibly more times if the Pellet stove is in constant use, you need to clean the flue. You can use a vacuum or brushes to do this job, and if necessary buy or hire special flue cleaning gear from your DIY store. Cleaning the flue is essential to prevent the flue from becoming clogged up, returning poisonous Carbon Monoxide back into your room as well as increasing the risk of a fire in the flue itself.
If you’ve managed to get any unsightly stains on the metal Pellet stove body it’s probably easiest to apply a coat of high temperature stove paint, available from any leading DIY store. Alternatively, if you fancy applying some elbow grease, you can use the old fashioned method of polishing it with a specially formulated graphite polish known as Lead blacking.
Unless you’re a qualified engineer on no account should you, as a DIY enthusiast, attempt to clean the heat exchanger. This is a job that must be done, at least once a year, but it must also be done by a qualified person. So, when the cold seasons over, contact the Pellet stove manufacturer or look on the internet for authorized companies to do this job for you.