A pellet stove’s combustion blower accumulates ash because it is in direct contact with exhaust gasses. This accumulation, in turn, reduces the efficiency of the blower, and the excess weight of this ash will cause premature failure of the bearings in the motor. These bearings cannot be easily changed in most blowers. By regularly cleaning your combustion fan, your fan will last longer, and your stove will run more efficiently by burning cleaner and using fewer pellets.
Here is a list of things you will need:
- Your stove’s owner’s manual
- A small wire brush
- A broom or, preferably, a shop vac with a brush attachment
- Tools to remove your blower (e.g., screwdrivers and pliers)
- Synthetic bearing oil (if applicable)
NOTE: Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions regarding the removal and cleaning of your unit’s combustion blower.
Here are some basic steps for cleaning a combustion blower:
1. Make sure that your unit is unplugged and the unit has completely cooled down.
2. Locate your unit’s blower. Consult your owner’s manual for the specific location. Generally, the blower can be found in the following locations:
a. Wood / Coal Furnace – Below the loading door. Note: the draft blower is more of a convection style blower on a wood or coal furnace.
b. Pellet Stove – In the lower rear of the stove; can usually be accessed through one of the side panels
3. Once you’ve located and removed your blower, you’ll need to clean each fan blade using your wire brush. This may also require some light scraping with a screwdriver or other flat instrument.
4. Clean around the blower and motor, if accessible, and remove as much dust and debris as you can. DO NOT use ANY water or liquids to clean the blower as they could damage electrical components.
5. Use a vacuum to remove any loose buildup within the chassis. If you have access to an air compressor, this can be used to blow out any loose buildup.
6. Add oil to the lubrication ports, if applicable; two or three drops of synthetic bearing oil should be enough. Most combustion blowers do not require oiling. Check your owner’s manual or the blower’s identification tag if you are unsure OR view our how-to article HERE for more info.
7. Test the blower to ensure that it works correctly.
8. Replace any gaskets damaged during this process; if your blower is not sealed, your stove will not function properly.
9. When you are finished cleaning the blower, reinstall it in your unit in the reverse order of removal.
It is recommended that you clean your combustion blower after 3 tons of fuel have been burned, or at least twice a year, for optimal performance. If you are burning standard grade pellets, softwood pellets, or other biomass fuels such as corn or sunflower seeds, your blower should be cleaned more frequently.