Informational Guide

Pellet Stove Maintenance & Cleaning Guide

Discover how to properly clean a pellet stove and other maintenance tips with our DIY guide for homeowners.

by Josh M

Pellet Stove Product SamplePellet stoves are efficient heaters, but they need proper maintenance more than traditional furnaces and woodstoves.

Pellet stove maintenance can be costly, which warrants adequate cleaning to extend longevity.

Proper pellet stove cleaning and maintenance increase its longevity since it doesn’t need repairs more often.

You should clean your pellet stove every year or before the start of winter when a pellet stove runs for long hours.

If you’re wondering how to clean a pellet stove, this guide will answer all your questions.

Casing Or Outer Body

It is the most significant part of a pellet stove since it holds all other components. Further, it stores the fuel, usually as pellets, and provides storage for at least a day’s burning.

Cleaning the outer body prevents your pellet stove from rusting. But if you notice any rust accumulating, you can scrub using sandpaper.

Burning Pot

The burning pot is in the combustion chamber where pellets are compressed. It acts as a carburetor for the stove since it mixes the air and fuel, creating a flame.

Use an ash vacuum cleaner to clean the ash pot and remove the ashes. Remove the burning pot from the compartment and clean the holes using a metal cleaning rod.

Looking Glass

You can know whether the fire is burning well through the glass. Looking glass is typically self-cleaning, but if you want to know how to keep the glass clean on a pellet stove, you can use glass cleaners monthly.

Alternatively, you can use old newspapers or water and vinegar to clean. That will allow you to remove the accumulated dust, soot, and any other substance.


Venting removes waste products from a pellet stove. Venting occurs through the walls or the roof of a house.

It requires regular cleaning to remove creosote, which may become sticky, damaging the interior of the pipes.

How To Clean A Pellet Stove (Guide For All Parts)

You can use the following for overall pellet stove cleaning:

  • Vacuum – To remove ash
  • Vinegar and Water – For general cleaning
  • Wire brush – For rust removal
  • Dry Cloth – To clean stoves not made of cast iron.
  • Brush – To clean different areas of the stove.
  • Screwdriver – To open different parts of the stove.

Cleaning The Body Casing (Outer Side)

The body casing cleaning depends on the materials your pellet stove is made of, and you should clean it at least twice a month.

Step 1

First, use your wire brush to take out rust, if any. The rust may accumulate if you have taken some time to clean your pellet stove—that’s why it is essential to clean your stove at least once a month.

Step 2

In this step, you can apply some force and use sandpaper. But it applies if you have not taken the rust off for some time. Ensure you scrap all the places that are damaged bit by bit to remove all the rust.

Step 3

If the dirt is from ashes, you can use a damp cloth. Have a spray bottle where you can put a mixture of water and vinegar. The ratio should be 2:1. Spray directly on the pellet stove, give it some time, and then wipe it off with a dry cloth.

Cleaning The Ashes Of Burn Pot

Always use an ash vacuum to clean the burn pot at least weekly.

Step 1

Open the door.

Step 2

Vacuum your burn pot using an electrical ash vacuum. The vacuum will remove all the ashes from the upper part of the stove. I recommend that you use an ash vacuum since it is safe.

Step 3

Clean the pothole using a cleaning rod. Remove it from the compartment for easier cleaning.

Note: Pellet stove manufacturers provide you with a cleaning rod.

Step 4

Clean the burn pot sit using the ash vacuum. The burn sit is where you place the burn pot, and so most of the time, it can get ash droppings.

Step 5

The last step is to assemble all the compartments.

Cleaning The Pellet Stove Auger

Learn how to clean your pellet stove auger by following these steps.

Wood Pellets in a Pellet Stove
Step 1

Ensure that there is no sawdust built-up on the hopper for easier cleaning. You can do this by burning all the hoppers.

Step 2

Use your vacuum to remove any fuel from the hopper to make the auger easier to clean.

Step 3

Use some oil to apply on your auger, auger pipe, and hopper. You should do this after the stove is cool enough to do so.

How To Maintain A Pellet Stove (For Better Operation And Longevity)

The best way to have your pellet stove last long is to focus on proper maintenance. Suppose you’re new to understanding how to clean a pellet stove. In that case, you should have an appropriate maintenance routine, involve a professional every year to clean the pipes, venting system, and ash traps.

Consider these tips:

  • Avoid Using Low-Quality Pellets
    Low-quality pellets form soot which can be harmful to your stove. Ensure your pellets don’t have multiple fillers and glues since they create smoke and ashes. For this reason, the Pellet Fuel Institute (PFI) started a quality assurance program for pellet manufacturers to meet specific standards.
  • Service Your Pellet Stove Every Autumn
    Do this with the help of a technician who will check whether your stove is operational or has dust or needs a repair on these areas: auger, wiring, switches, igniter, etc.
  • Soot Sweep Regularly
    It’s best if you can sweep weekly because that will remove any soot clogged on the stove. That saves a lot in terms of heat transfer rate.
  • Check Ash and Dust Content Regularly
    Make this a routine so that you can identify if the pellets are burning up completely. If they aren’t, there will be excess sawdust which is not suitable for your stove.

Popular Models Cleaning & Maintenance

The following are some of the popular models and the recommended cleaning and maintenance guidelines:

Harman XXV Pellet Stove

Its quality is unquestionable due to its artisanal cast iron quality. The Harman XXV is popular because it maintains temperature accuracy and control.

Do you need to learn how to clean a Harman XXC pellet stove? Well, it’s easy to clean since it doesn’t require special cleaning agents. Maintaining involves the use of high-quality pellets and yearly or ongoing maintenance.

Harman P61 Pellet Stove

It is among the best P-series stoves since it has smart sensing technology. That makes Harman P61 popular since its efficiency and performance are incredible.

You can clean it just like other pellet stoves, either yearly or any time you feel it needs cleaning. Choose the services of a professional or buy the recommended cleaning materials.

Quadra-Fire Pellet Stove Insert

This model is popular because it is cost-effective. Further, you will get a Quadra-fire pellet stove insert in different styles and technologies.

Clean and offer maintenance according to usage. If it’s winter, your stove is working full time. So it will require ongoing maintenance.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What happens if you don’t clean a pellet stove?

Your pellet stove heating system can be damaged if there are pellets built-ups. If it gets rusted, the stove can cause a significant breakup to its components.

How long can a pellet stove run before cleaning?

It will depend on the fuel you are using. But the recommended period is one year, where you are supposed to get help from a qualified technician.

How often do you add pellets to a pellet stove?

This factor depends on whether your pellet stove is running all day or some part of the day. But 10kg of pellets can last for one to three days.

How much does it cost to service a pellet stove?

The cost will depend on the type of pellet stove and the area such services are being offered.

So the minimum is $200, and the maximum is $300.


The ideal way of maintaining a pellet stove is to use suitable pellets and proper cleaning. Ensure that you clean your stove every year, and you will have your pellet stove serving you for a long time.

Learn more about pellet stove in the following posts:

Pellet Stove vs Propane
How to Start a Pellet Stove
Are Pellet Stoves Sage
Do Pellet Stoves Need Electricity

Last Updated on November 27, 2021

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.