Chimney Care Company's Blog

Pellet stove problems? We can fix them!

Homeowners who choose pellet stoves or fireplaces most often do so because pellet appliances are lower maintenance than wood-burning appliances. There’s no need to stack, store or haul wood. Pellet stove is automatically fed the correct amount of pellets to heat your home, even when you’re sleeping or away.

However, pellet stoves aren’t completely maintenance free. With the amount of ash and dust generated, and the number of working components they feature, pellet stoves and fireplaces require added care. If you’re having problems with your pellet stove or fireplace, the Chimney Care Co. is here to help!

Pellet stove won’t light

pellets for pellet stovePellet stoves rely on electricity for igniting, though some models feature battery backups so stoves still light in an electricity outage. If your pellet stove isn’t lighting, first check your power. If the unit is plugged in and the circuit breaker hasn’t blown, you likely need to call the professionals to inspect and repair your pellet stove’s ignition.

Lackluster burn

Another common problem with pellet stoves is a lackluster burn. If the flame of your pellet stove isn’t burning as vigorously as it normally does, or the fire is producing a lot of soot and dirtying the glass on the stove doors, then you have a problem. Pellet stove use a series of fans to draw air to fuel the fire. A low flame usually is a sign of an air problem. There could also be a clogged duct, a faulty fan or broken seals on the fireplace or stove doors. A low flame isn’t a problem that should be ignored, but you should call the professionals.

Faulty auger

The auger in your pellet stoves feeds the pellets at the right pace for your pellet stove. If your auger is turning slowly or entirely stopped, your pellet stove might need professional attention. With the stove off, you can check the auger for a stuck pellet or an influx of dust. If you can’t see a problem, call and schedule an appointment with our professionals right away.

Annual cleaning and maintenance

To keep your pellet stove or fireplace operating efficiently, the entire system needs to be swept and inspected at least once per year by a certified professional. During your annual cleaning and inspection, your sweep will clean the unit’s chimney, as well as clean away dust or ash that could interfere with the operation of it. The inspection ensure that all of the working components of your pellet stove or fireplace are in perfect working condition to heat your home this winter.

If your pellet stove isn’t working properly — whether it isn’t starting, isn’t turning off, is creating a lot of smoke or has an auger that isn’t working — call the Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today! You can also call us at 513-248-9600 to schedule your annual cleaning and maintenance for your pellet stove or fireplace with us too!

Pellet Stove Cleaning and Maintenance

If you’ve just installed or are planning to install a pellet stove, it’s important to grasp the importance of getting into a regular habit of cleaning it and providing regular appliance upkeep to get the most out of your investment. The manufacturer’s instructions will typically give you fairly straightforward specifics as far as cleaning and upkeep are concerned in regards to your particular model. Nevertheless, we at The Chimney Care Company would like to provide you with a few general tips and areas to keep an eye on.


You've invested good money in a pellet stove. Keeping it properly cleaned and maintained will ensure the best return on your investment.

You’ve invested good money in a pellet stove. Keeping it properly cleaned and maintained will ensure the best return on your investment.

This is the stove’s carburetor, meaning it mixes the air and fuel together to enable combustion. As is the case in a car, the correct air to fuel ratio is extremely important to achieving top performance. When operating normally, your stove should produce a bright yellow or white flame. You may also notice a white or gray ashy buildup on the glass during high burn and a darker, fluffy ash on low burn—both are totally normal. If, however, your flame is orange and sooty or there’s a brown caramel-like substance building up, immediate action should be taken to improve the burning efficiency of your unit.

It’s extremely important that you check the burn pot every day and clean it periodically to keep the air inlets free of ash and clinkers (formed from ash that melts and then hardens). The frequency with which you need to clean the burn pot will depend, in large part, on the type and grade of pellets you’re burning. Incorrect adjustment of the air to fuel ratio can greatly increase the likelihood of blockages forming in the burn pot due to the stove’s inability to remove excess ash on its own.


Located inside the combustion chamber, the heat exchanger is designed to transfer the heat produced by the burning pellets in the burn pot into clean hot air for distribution into your living space. Fresh air passes through the inside of the chamber and draws the heat out of the stove and into the room. For maximum efficiency, the surface of the heat exchanger should be cleaned regularly. The frequency with which you’ll need to clean it will depend on your particular unit’s design and can range anywhere from daily to monthly. On some models, cleaning is as simple as moving a rod that scrapes the tubes inside the stove, whereas other stoves may require professional service.


It is recommended that you have your stove’s venting system cleaned by a professional who’s more experienced in the maintenance of such things. If the vent pipe becomes blocked, smoke may leak into your home. Luckily, most pellet burning appliances now have a safety switch that will interrupt their operation and keep exposure to harmful gases to a minimum. The motors and fans in your stove will need occasional cleaning and/or lubricating as well; using the wrong lubricant or the wrong amount of lubricant can, however, damage the unit. Gaskets (fire chamber door, ash pan door, and hopper lid) may also need replacing from time to time to ensure the seals remain tight.

Like traditional and gas fireplaces, it is recommended that you call a certified professional to service and clean your pellet stove on at least an annual basis; they’ll also be able to provide preventive maintenance at this time. Here at Chimney Care Company, your family’s sense of security and safety is important to us. Whatever your fireplace, chimney or other needs, if you’re looking for high quality, professional services from industry experts, you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call today!

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140