Dear Darlene – Advice to keep your stove happy!

Darlene is the Customer Service & Sales Manager at  She’s also an experienced pellet stove owner, and she and her team of Pellet Experts answer all sorts of questions from customers on all things pellet.

Got a burning question for Darlene?  Leave it here, and she’ll get you an answer in no time!

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It’s definitely getting cold, and I’m ready to turn my stove back on. Is there anything I need to do to get my stove ready?

-Cold Feet, Hartford, CT

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Dear Cold,

Sure, are you ready for some…

I know, I know, you were thinking FOOTBALL! But what’s not to love – football games and a roaring pellet stove! One thing to keep in mind is that a clean stove is a happy stove, and a happy stove means a happy stove owner.

To answer your question: Yes, there is a short checklist of maintenance & cleaning tips you should go through before you start heating. If you have not already had your stove serviced – and I mean professionally cleaned – since last heating season, I would recommend that you do. Contact a local stove shop first to see if they can provide Annual Stove Service, and if they don’t, then contact a local Pellet Stove Service Technician.

What most people don’t realize is that they should have their stove professionally cleaned after 1-2 tons burned. The reality is most people have their stove serviced annually, which works for the majority of folks. However, pellet stove owners who burn 5-8 tons (or more!) a year should seriously consider having their stove serviced mid-season. This practice will keep your stove running efficiently, and it’ll keep you in better tune with your stove!

Just to give you an idea of what a Professional Cleaning involves, here’s a checklist from a Scott of Pellet Stove Cleaning.  This is a rather comprehensive list, as you can see (and of course, each checklist will vary by stove make and model):

  • Remove pellets; vacuum debris; inspect hopper, auger plate, pressure and/or latch switches; perform minor repairs as needed and refill pellets
  • Inspect auger and auger assembly; test for unobstructed rotation within the auger tube; clean & lubricate auger motor as needed
  • Combustion and Convection Blowers: access, clean, lubricate as needed
  • Visually inspect all wiring and terminals
  • Clean the entire fire chamber including: burn pot, ignition assembly, fire walls, draft chambers, exhaust ports and heat exchangers, etc…
  • Inspect all seals, heat switches, and vacuum sensors
  • Clean out exhaust pipes to the outside air
  • Complete cleaning of electronics from the rear panel of the appliance, and test electrical sensors and igniter for continuity and working order
  • Complete cleaning of the adjacent floor area and stove hearth, and glass on stove
  • Start up the stove to make sure all is working correctly

So, I hope I’ve answered your question and should you need help locating a Pellet Stove Technician in your area, we can help!  Just call 1-800-PELLETS or email us here at

Happy Heating!!!


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Barbara Gagnon on February 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Does a free standing pellet stove give more heat than a fire place insert?


    • Hi Barbara, the short answer is yes, typically a free-standing stove will give you more heat than a fireplace insert. But the longer answer involves taking a look at the layout of your house, how well you’re insulated, the installation of a particular stove or insert, and the make and model of the stove or insert you’re considering. We’d be happy to talk through some options with you or point you in the direction of a stove dealer near you – visit our Stove Finder at or give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS.


  2. Posted by Russell Kauk on December 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I would like to get wood pellet stove hear some bad thing on how expensive and they don`t alwas work right.


    • Hi Russell, thanks for your question. The truth is, pellet stoves require some work on your part to keep them running at top efficiency. Many people find a pellet stove easier to load & run than a wood stove – with a pellet stove, you load a bag of pellets probably once a day, and you’re good. However, you do have to take steps to clean and maintain your stove – this is a mechanical appliance with plenty of moving parts, and you need to follow your stove manufacturer’s recommendations for weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance.

      And as far as the part about being expensive: pellet stoves do require you to spend some money upfront to buy & install the stove. But many people see a payback on this investment very quickly – our average consumer saves more than $600 a year – and that’s even more this year with the price of oil and propane ever on the rise.

      If you visit our Stove Finder at, you’ll be able to compare different makes of stoves to find a model that suits your size, maintenance, and design preferences. Feel free to give us a call, too, at 1-800-PELLETS – we can hook you up with a reliable, local dealer that specializes in installing the stove brand you’re looking for.


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