Annual Service Checklist
*ALWAYS unplug your pellet stove before servicing. It is recommended to leave pellet stoves disconnected from power when not in use for added electrical protection.
Even under normal use, gaskets can wear out crack & loosen over time. Check to make sure all gaskets are firmly anchored and perform the “Dollar Bill Test” to ensure a tight seal. To perform this test, close a dollar bill in the door of the stove, then try to pull it up and out. If the paper does not pull out or pulls with resistance, the gasket is in good condition and does not need to be replaced. A worn gasket will allow the paper to pull out easily and needs to be replaced.
Note: We recommend using a dollar bill because the paper is a little sturdier than plain paper.
Brick & Baffles:
Annual cleaning is a good time to remove and inspect firebrick, baffles, and combustors for cracks or damage. If the material is cracked and crumbling, it is a good idea to replace them. Once the brick is removed, clean any ash traps located behind the brick.
Combustion & Convection Blowers:
Remove the combustion blower from the stove (for pellet stoves) and clean any ash or creosote from the fan blades and housing. This is also a good time to bench test the combustion motor to be sure it is functioning at peak performance. Compressed air and a soft brush can help to gently remove build up from the convection blower. This is a good point to check and clean any exhaust passages and scrape the heat exchanger tubes if you have them. Clean the interior of the stove with a nylon brush, vacuum and then wipe down with a damp cloth before reinstalling the combustion motor.
Burn Pot: (Pellet Stoves)
Empty soot deposits and scrape build-up from the burn pot. Make sure ventilation holes or grate bars are clear of creosote. It is recommended to replace the burn pot or grate if there are large gaps or holes that burning pellets can fall through.
When the stove is completely cool, you can use a soft cloth and stove glass cleaner on the glass. Dipping the damp cloth in cooled fly ash lends additional cleaning power when struggling with persistent creosote build-up. Always use caution to prevent scratches or damage to the glass from abrasive cleaning supplies.
Complete your annual inspection by checking the stove pipe for any holes or leaks, paying special attention to the area around the chimney connection. Replacement is recommended if you find any damage or creosote. Don’t forget to inspect the chimney, too! Having the chimney swept annually is imperative for safe and effective operation. The Chimney Safety Institute can connect you with certified professionals in your area who will identify and resolve any safety concerns and reduce your risk of a chimney fire and potential carbon monoxide exposure.