If you have recently installed a new residential burner, you may want to learn how to keep it clean. Pellet burner maintenance is important to keep it running all winter and to keep everyone toasty.
Here are some tips to clean your pellet burner.
Check the ash pot every day.
As long as you are using your pellet burner regularly, you have to check it every day. You do not need to clean your ash pot every day but the only way you will know when it needs to be cleaned is to check it often. A lot of the cleaning schedule will depend on what you are burning in the burner. You should consult the owner’s manual that came with it.
When you think about your ash pot, the best analogy is the carburetor. This is where the fuel mixes with the air to burn. The flame should be bright white or yellow when things are working the way they should. This will result in a gray or white build up on the glass. That is ok.
What you should look for is a flame that becomes orange or soot filled and for darker, brown like substance on the glass. These things show that the pellet burner is not working correctly and may need to be calibrated.
Look for clinkers. They can build up in the firebox. What is a clinker? This is created when ash melts and then hardens. If the ash is allowed to get to the point where it melts, as it can when it reaches high temperatures, it can clog up your system. Keep an eye out for it and clean it as you need to. Most pellet burners even come with a tool remove these.
Keep your ash drawer empty.
Before you start a new fire, make sure you take the time to empty out the ash drawer. You may have to do this during the operation of your pellet burner as well. Whether or not you have to do this is fully dependent on what kind of fuel you are using in your pellet burner and on the design of that burner. Most people have to do this about once or twice a week. Some can get away with doing this once a month. It all depends on how often and much you are using the pellet burner.
Clean the heat exchanger.
The heat exchanger moves the heat to be moved throughout the home. This is in the combustion chamber. The heat is typically moved through the pellet burner through a collection of tubes that are in the firebox. To heat the home, fresh air gets passed through the combustion chamber.
To keep this running smoothly you need to clean the heat exchanger on a regular basis. How often you will need to do the cleaning will really be dependent on the model and what you are burning in the pellet burner. Some models need to be cleaner all of the time but for some, once a month or less is enough. Some heat exchangers need to be cleaned only by a professional. Look at the manual or talk to the dealer for more information.
Empty the ash traps.
These need to be cleaned out from time to time to prevent the ash from getting into the exhaust. For some models, this is an easy thing to do at home but some need professional service. Look at at the manual or call the dealer for help.
Clean the glass.
You need to wait until the glass is totally cool to the touch before you should think about cleaning it. Most of the time, a simple glass cleaner will work. In these cases, if you use a newspaper rather than paper towel, you will get better result. Spray the glass and then use the newspaper as you would paper towels. Some models of pellet burners require you to go with a professional. Consult your owner’s manual or talk to the dealer.
Check the auger and the hopper for sawdust.
Sawdust and other debris can accumulate in the hopper and the auger. The fuel line can get clogged so you should run it out from time to time to get rid of any blockages.
Pellet burners can be a more effective than traditional, residential furnaces for heating.