Home Home Improvement The Fire’s Out: How to Troubleshoot Common Pellet Stove Problems

The Fire’s Out: How to Troubleshoot Common Pellet Stove Problems

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Pellet stove heating systems and other similar biomass heating solutions currently enjoy a 26 percent tax credit for installation. A biomass heating system offers an efficient, low-cost way to heat your home. Like any complex system, however, a pellet stove can break down.

Pellet stove repair can be as simple as swapping out some parts, but a repair can also require expert maintenance. We’ll go over which problems you can solve yourself and which require an expert’s touch. We’ll also look at some common issues that don’t need any repairs at all.


Sometimes, what looks like a broken pellet stove is just its normal operation. These problems require little to no effort from you. If you find yourself worrying about your stove, check these pellet stove tips out before committing to a repair.

If ash and residue accumulate on the glass, you should just clean the glass. If it bothers you, try a higher heat setting, as this will encourage less ash production.

A stove that has a big flame when it starts up needs no repairs at all. Once you finish turning on the stove, it should normalize.

A pellet stove can be noisy sometimes, too. Even a working stove will occasionally rattle a bit when starting. The contraction and expansion of the stove’s metal can make noise, so try not to worry about it.

Easy-to-Solve Pellet Stove Problems

You can sometimes solve excessive smoke just by cleaning the pellet stove. Smoke often occurs due to clinker material that doesn’t burn properly. Removing clinker and cleaning ash should diminish the smoke.

You can also fix a slow-dancing, inefficient flame by yourself most of the time. Try reducing the pellet feed rate and cleaning both the heat exchanger box and the fan.

If you’re somewhat handy, you can also replace some pellet stove parts yourself. If the motor stops after less than an hour, you likely need to replace the low-heat switch. If the pellet stove refuses to turn off after achieving high temps, the high-heat switch is the culprit.

Common Pellet Stove Issues in Need of Professional Help

The most common problems that need a professional touch come from a pellet stove’s auger. Lots of things can go wrong with this crucial part, and figuring out which one is wrong can be dangerous. It can also cause several subsequent problems, including smoking and feeding errors.

If it looks like you might have an auger problem, don’t hesitate to contact a pro. If left to fester, these can compound and get worse until the whole stove needs to be replaced.

Commit to Care and Maintenance

A pellet stove needs regular cleaning and maintenance to work at full efficiency. In the winter you might need to clean it as often as twice a week. Remember that taking care of these problems early prevents them from building up into hefty expenses later.

Considering other improvements to your home? Looking for other ways to transition to renewables or energy-efficient fixtures? Check out our do-it-yourself section.


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