Pellet stoves are a type of solid fuel burning appliance that burns compressed biomass pellets rather than wood logs. Their environmentally friendly technology allows families to heat their homes using waste products that otherwise may have been thrown away. Indeed, an entire industry specializing in reclaiming biomass products such as sawdust & walnut shells has developed into a multibillion dollar, eco-friendly industry.
Many customers are surprised to learn that despite the fact that their pellet stove burns very cleanly, the chimney and the stove itself must still be disassembled and cleaned on a regular basis! Without regular maintenance, fly ash, dust, and sawdust can quickly accumulate in various parts of your pellet stove not only robbing you of precious heat for your home, but also causing expensive and unnecessary repairs. Running your pellet stove without having it cleaned is like driving your car without having the oil changed!
Unlike wood stoves, pellet stoves typically have three motors and a computer, all requiring electricity to run. This means that during a power outage, a pellet stove won’t be able to keep you warm unless you have an alternative source of electricity!
The first motor is the auger motor. The auger motor turns a corkscrew type shaft that moves pellets from the hopper into the burn pot. The computer will dictate how fast or slow the auger motor turns based upon whatever the current heat output needs are.
The second motor is the convection motor. The convection motor draws unheated air into the pellet stove, moves it through the heat exchangers to be heated and then returns it to the room as warm air. In addition to heating the home, this air circulation also helps keep the stove itself from overheating.
The last motor is the combustion motor. This motor pulls air into the pellet stove so the fire has adequate oxygen, and then pushes the smoke and hot flue gasses up and out of the chimney. This motor must be running at all times while your pellets are burning.
If you get the idea that pellets stoves are a little more complicated than wood stoves, you’re right! Because of the various motors, electronics, wires, fuses, and circuits, you might consider a pellet stove a computer that burns stuff. As such, finding parts for repairs on pellet stoves ten years or older can sometimes prove difficult… especially because many pellet stove manufactures have gone out of business in recent years.
AtoZ is very familiar with pellet stoves of all types, and you can be sure that our technicians are experts in cleaning, servicing, and repairing your pellet stove. Just like sweeping a chimney, preventative maintenance is the surest way to help avoid expensive emergency repairs in the middle of winter when you need your stove to perform the most! If you currently aren’t having AtoZ clean and maintain your pellet stove, please feel free to contact us today to make an appointment! Your pellet stove was an expensive investment in keeping your home warm…. let us help you keep that investment in top condition so you can enjoy it as much as possible, for as long as possible!