While the average pellet stove pipe is quite efficient, it still needs a regular cleaning. Though cleaning your pellet stove is a chore, you can minimize the amount of work with the following techniques.
Use Drop Cloths
When you clean out your pellet stove, your goal is to end up with less of a mess, not more of one. However, if you do not prepare correctly, you can end up with a bigger mess than the one you started with. Because they are light, ashes spread easily and widely. You can reduce the mess they make by putting down drop cloths before you begin. If you do not have a drop cloth, you can substitute an old sheet or even newspapers. Remember, if there is anything nearby that you do not want covered in ashes, cover it in a drop cloth first.
Use the Clean-Out Door
If your pellet stove connects to a clean-out door on the outside of your home, open it up and clean it out. Then leave it open while you clean the pellet stove pipe. When you are done, empty the compartment again and close the door. This is a great way to avoid filling the inside of your home with soot.
Use the Correct Tools
Cleaning a pellet stove pipe can be a lot of work. Ashes and dirt can build up in hard-to-reach places. If you can even reach the debris in these areas, it can make a bigger mess when you get the dirt out. Additionally the deposits of ash that slowly build up on any surface that is exposed to the inside of your pellet stove can be very difficult to remove. Fortunately you can reduce the amount of work you have to do by choosing the right equipment for the job.
There are brushes designed with the specific purpose of cleaning stove pipes. These brushes have stiff bristles and long handles. However, the absolute best brushes for this particular job have handles that are not only long, but also flexible. This feature makes reaching difficult areas much easier, as you can insert your brush from any angle and still gain access to the entire pellet stove pipe.
While you will have to remove debris more or less by hand before you discard it, you can save yourself a great deal of trouble with a vacuum cleaner. The best way to do this is with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner with a hand attachment. Vacuuming gets the debris out of hard-to-reach areas. Additionally, it reduces the chances that you will accidentally spread dirt or ashes around your home.