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How to Close Pellet Stoves for the Summer

Summer closing tips for pellet stoves in Ottawa

With summer officially here, you probably won’t be using your pellet stove again for a few months. To keep your pellet stove in good condition for the return of the colder weather, it is important to thoroughly clean and inspect your stove before saying goodbye for the summer. A proper summer closing will prevent damage during the summer months and make sure your stove is ready to use as soon as you’re ready. You can refer to the owner’s manual for closing suggestions and contact the Ottawa pellet stove experts for assistance. Make sure to turn off and unplug the pellet stove, allowing it to cool completely before continuing with these closing tips.

Clean the Glass

Use a heat-safe cleaning solution and a soft cloth to clean the glass doors. To avoid damaging the glass, do not use any solutions with ammonia.

Clean the Interior and the Hopper

Thoroughly clean all interior parts of the pellet stove using the following tools or hire a pellet stove professional to clean it for you:

  • A flashlight headband or a flashlight clamped to the side of the stove so you can see all the places that need cleaning;
  • Gloves and a dust mask to protect your skin and lungs from the ash and dust clouds while cleaning. If your stove has an exhaust blower, turn this on while cleaning to pull ash dust through the exhaust pipe;
  • A stove vacuum or a shop vac with high-efficiency bags or HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) bags to keep fine ash dust inside the bag. Do not use a regular vacuum because the ash dust might damage it;
  • A stiff brush to sweep ash from the interior—including the heat exchanger and walls; and,
  • A metal scraper to clean the burn pot and to remove any tough creosote buildup.

Remove All Pellets

Wood pellets—whether burned or unburned—should not be left inside your stove throughout the summer. Pellets absorb moisture that will lead to rust and costly damage to your stove. To avoid any future problems with your pellet stove, make sure that all ports and passages are cleaned out.

Closing Checklist

While cleaning your pellet stove, it is important to keep an eye out for any damage. A thorough inspection and making necessary repairs now will save you from having to do these in the fall. The following is a checklist that you or a professional can review while closing your pellet stove for the summer:

  • Look for ash, defects, and discolouring;
  • Vacuum;
  • Remove, clean, and reinstall baffles;
  • Clean and inspect the heat exchanger;
  • Remove, vacuum, and reinstall access doors and panels;
  • Inspect hopper for pellet quality and excess fines;
  • Vacuum the back of the stove;
  • Check and lubricate the shaker grate cam (if applicable); and,
  • Test fire the stove or insert to make sure it’s working well.

In addition to this checklist, you will want to inspect your pellet stove even further for the cleanliness of the following items:

  • Burn pot
  • Ignitor
  • Ash pan
  • Convection and combustion fan
  • Glass
  • Pressure switch/hose
  • Gaskets
  • Tee, venting and venting seals
  • Electrical wiring
  • Auger motor(s) (if applicable)

By cleaning and repairing your pellet stove now, you can avoid further problems and more work in the future. A proper summer closing for pellet stoves in Ottawa will make for an easier opening come fall, and you won’t have to wait to use your stove while it’s being cleaned and repaired during the colder weather.