Blog

  • How To Clean Your Pellet Stove
    The warm weather is finally upon us and itu2019s time to clean up your pellet stove so it's ready to go next season. Here at Fire Glow, we highly advise to get your pellet stove cleaned at the END of every burning season to prevent complications when you start to burn again next fall.

    Currently, we're in the midst of our annual cleaning special! For a reduced price one of our certified technicians will come to your home, thoroughly clean and inspect your appliance, and update any software that needs to be updated. If you want, they can even walk you through the cleaning of your appliance.

    Or, if you're feeling capable, you can clean your unit yourself. Because of the variation and complexity of pellet stoves, you'll have to consult your manual on some aspects, but here are some helpful, universal tips from our tech, Marc:

    1. Make sure to clean ALL the ash out of your stove at the end of the season. There are two reasons for this: (1) ash is acidic and can - over time - damage the inside of the stove and (2) with the humidity of summer, the ash clumps together and gets harder to clean out. It's not something you want to leave in your stove for an extended amount of time.

    Cleaning out the ash includes, but might not be limited to: cleaning out the ash drawer, the fire pot, and behind the baffle. An ashvac is a helpful tool for a neat and tidy clean-up.

    2. Inspect all the major components of your appliance. This is the optimal time to make sure all the equipment in your stove is undamaged, and to take note if something is frayed/cracked/broken and needs to be replaced.

    3. Clean the air passage ways. Pellet stoves depend on having a clear air passage. 9 times out of 10, any issue with a pellet stove has to do with cleaning out the air passages. This includes the exhaust and the chimney.

    Tip: If your pellet stove exhausts straight out the back, cover the cap with a plastic bag to prevent birds from nesting inside. Just remember to take it off before your first burn in the fall!

    And just remember, the execution of these steps vary from stove to stove, so be sure to check your manual if you're cleaning your own unit. Inserts might require you to pull the unit out of the fireplace to clean it. And above all stay safe!

    If you have any questions or wish to set up an annual service call, you can call our showroom at (914) 248-7775. We look forward to hearing from you!
    July 2016
  • Winter is coming and its time to prepare your Wood Appliance for the burning season!
    Wood appliances require some simple care to ensure they run properly for the duration of the heating season. Before the season starts, we recommend getting the chimney cleaned on any wood appliance. Whether you own a wood stove, fireplace, or insert, cleaning your chimney once a year to remove creosote buildup is essential to prevent chimney fires. If you burn wet wood/green wood or close your damper too much, your risk of creosote buildup increases, and you may have to clean your chimney more frequently.
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    Next, inspect the inside of the firebox for any damage. Make sure the ash has all been cleaned out: Ash is acidic and will corrode the box if it sits there. Cleaning out the ash also allows you to check for any damage to the cast iron or firebrick inside. Cracked or crumbling bricks only need to be replaced if you can fit a nickel in them, but never fear! A 9x4x1.25 inch split brick is available for $2 and can be cut to size by the homeowner. If the brick has a hole in it, which can sometimes occur with Quadra-Fire wood appliances, we ask that you bring the brick in so we can match it to the bricks we have in our warehouse. These bricks are also more expensive.

    Cracking to cast iron, however, presents some bigger issues. The cracked piece of cast iron MUST BE REPLACED before you burn a fire in the appliance! Cast iron usually cracks due to over-firing, meaning that too much air was allowed into the firebox. The most common cause we see is burning the stove with the ash drawer open. Cracked cast iron only further exasperates the problem as it allows even more air into the fire box and leads to continued over-firing. If your cast iron is cracked, find your stoveu2019s manufacturer and model number (on most free-standing stoves this information can be found on a metal tag at the back of the stove). Then find a distributor near you so you can order a replacement part. Jotul and Quadra-Fire parts can be ordered through Fire Glow Distributors: give us a call at (914) 248-7775.

    Checking the gasket is the next step in spring cleaning. Gasket is the fiberglass rope that lines the doors of most stoves. It may also line the glass, the ash door, another part of the stove. Over time (about every 2-3 years), the gasket wears down and doesnu2019t seal the stove properly. To check the gasket, place a dollar bill half in the door and close the door completely. If you can tug the dollar bill out, the gasket needs to be replaced. Measure the divot or bring a piece of the gasket to the store and we can cut the length of gasket your need to replace. If we sell the model stove you have, we may be able to determine the correct gasket but otherwise we have a chart you can match the sample up to. If you donu2019t feel comfortable replacing the gasket yourself, you can bring the door in and we can replace the gasket in-house for $20 plus the cost of supplies.

    Along with gasket, the glass will also need to be cleaned. Our favorite cleaner is a conditioning glass cleaner ($6.40 + tax). It has a little grit to it so it only takes a little elbow grease to get the residue off the glass.

    Once all this is done, youu2019re finally ready to start burning!! We at Fire Glow hope you keep warm and safe this burning season!
    September 2016