Pellet stoves are becoming an increasingly popular heating solution to help supplement central air conditioner systems. Unlike traditional wood fireplaces, they operate more like a furnace and can help save on utility costs. But how do you make a pellet stove burn hotter? We have done a bit of research to bring you the answer.
Here are ways that you can make your pellet stove burn hotter:
- Use high-quality pellets
- Make airflow adjustments
- Improve the heat output
- Clean out the stove
- Raise the blower speed
The stove's brand and model will play a major part in how hot the stove can burn. In addition to this, the settings, pellets, and specific features on the stove can affect its heating temperature. Continue reading to learn how to adjust the settings to get it to the temperature that you prefer.
Ways To Make Pellet Stove Burn Hotter
Use high-quality pellets
The pellets that you use can play a significant role in how hot your pellet stove becomes.
All pellets aren't created equal, and quality can have a huge impact on how much heat can be extracted from them and the level of heat that they can produce overall. Lower quality pellets tend to have a higher moisture and ash content, making it harder for them to burn.
As a result, they will release less heat than a high-quality pellet. On the other hand, higher-quality pellets have a lower moisture and ash content, resulting in more heat than they can release and an extended burning time.
Of course, you'll also want to know what pellets the manufacturer recommends, as their recommendation is crucial to getting suitable pellets for the stove.
For example, some manufacturers may require that you only use pellets that meet specific requirements (and classes). High-quality pellets must meet stricter guidelines in terms of quality, moisture content, and added chemicals.
Make airflow adjustments
Increasing the level of oxygen in the pellet stove can also lead to faster and hotter-burning pellets. Some pellet stove models have a damper that can be controlled manually to adjust airflow. Opening the damper will lead to a faster and hotter flame in a relatively short period of time.
However, some models have an automatic airflow control button that allows you to instantly improve the combustion in the blower. This results in faster heating than manually controlled dampers.
Improve the heat output
You can increase the temperature at which the pellet stove burns by simply increasing the heat setting on the stove. For most modern pellet stoves, this setting can be found on the control located on the stove's side. Some stoves may have touch screen controls.
They can also increase the temperature and other settings. It may take a bit of experimentation to determine the best setting for the stove. The size of the room also plays a part in determining which setting may be best. Surprisingly, the highest setting isn't always recommended for larger rooms.
Clean out the stove
You can also improve heat output by simply cleaning out the stove. It's best to clean the stove regularly to prevent the auger from becoming clogged with pellets and debris and keep the unit running smoothly.
If the pellet stove isn't clean, you'll find that over time, it'll produce less heat and be less efficient than it was originally.
It's also helpful to look at the manufacturer's recommendations to determine the ideal frequency at which to clean the stove. Removing debris from the burn pot can help prevent airflow blockages that can directly affect the heat output.
Raise the blower speed
You can also increase the temperature of the pellet stove by raising the blower speed. This will increase the dispersion of heat from the pellets, allowing them to be more easily distributed inside the stove.
As the blowers move the fan speed will increase, and as a result of the amount of heat emitted from the stove will increase as well.
You can increase the blower setting and heat setting at the same time, or simply increase the blower setting alone. The settings for the blower speed may be located on the side of the pellet stove or on the digital control panel.
Some modern stoves may also have an auto feature that allows you to more easily control the blower for specific times of the day.
Why is my pellet stove not getting hot enough?
The stove is dirty
One of the most common reasons why your pellet stove isn't getting warm enough may be that it's dirty.
If the fans are full of ashes or the burn chamber is full of debris, the stove will have restricted airflow. Airflow is necessary to produce maximum heat output, and when it's restricted, you'll find that the stove burns fewer pellets.
You can clean your pellet stove grille using a shop vacuum. Use a small broom to sweep the ashes from the bottom of the pot and clean out the flue and other components.
It's also helpful to remove the housing from the auger and wipe it down now to get rid of any grime that has accumulated inside of it. Note that you can also have your stove serviced by a professional for anywhere from $75 to $150.
The damper needs to be adjusted
If the damper is adjusted to restrict airflow, the stove will not burn at its maximum capacity. You will typically notice this when the flame burns a lazy orange hue instead of white.
To increase the airflow, you'll need to manually adjust it or change the setting on the control board. Try to make the flame about 1/3 as tall as the pot's chamber for maximum heat output.
The fan speed is too low
A low fan speed could also be causing your pellet stove to have a lower burn rate. This is especially noticeable when the outside temperature is windy or below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can change the fan speed setting on the control board or display. Sometimes you may need to change the fan speed in addition to the heat output, though these settings will vary by model and stove type.
You're using low-quality pellets
And lastly, take a look at the type of pellets that you are using. It's best to use pellets made from 100% wood, as pellets containing fillers are typically of lesser quality.
Lower-quality pellets will retain more moisture and burn at lower temperatures. Though the higher-quality pellets cost more, you will find that you'll save money as you'll need fewer pellets to keep the fire burning at maximum output.
Do some pellets burn hotter than others?
Absolutely. In fact, softwood pellets have a much higher heat output than ones made from hardwood. Overall the softwood pellets contain lower ash and have lower moisture levels (and higher lignin concentrations). On average, they can burn at BTUs of about 10-21% higher than hardwood pellets.
This also means that you'll find less ash in the bottom of the burn pot, which also means less cleaning.
However, you can find those hardwood and softwood pellets that are of a decent quality to ensure a good burn rate. The distinction will lie in the manufacturing and the region in which the wood has been procured.
How do you adjust the heat on a pellet stove?
You can adjust the heat on a pellet stove by changing the blower speed, damper settings, and pellet usage. The exact process for doing this will vary by the make and model of your pellet stove. However, you should be able to adjust the settings using the controls and damper rod.
What are the best settings for a pellet stove?
It depends on the make and model stove of the stove you have and the size of the room you are trying to heat. It also depends on the current outside temperature. Often, it may be best to run the heater on a low setting such as two or three instead of higher settings such as four or five.
These settings lower the unit's efficiency and can cause it to cycle from pilot fire to an increased fire too often. When you have the stove on a lower setting, it can raise the home to the desired temperature more steadily and maintain it for longer periods.
You'll also find that the heater will stay warmer and minimize the number of pellets you have to use.
Wrapping Things Up
Operating a pellet stove may take some getting used to initially. But once you understand how the heat settings work, you'll find that it's relatively easy to use. If you're looking to increase the heat output, try increasing the airflow, adding more pellets, or increasing the oven's damper settings.
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