Generally speaking, pellet stoves are an efficient and eco-friendly way of heating a home. However, they can be quite noisy. So if you’ve ever wondered how to make a pellet stove quieter, here are some options:
- Tighten everything up
- Make sure the feet are level
- Clean and alter the heat exchanger rod
- Clean the rest of it too
- Use some gasket tape for a quick fix
I’ll explain these solutions in more detail below, but first it’s worth looking at why your pellet stove might be making noise. I’ll also look at some of the best quiet pellet stoves on the market, in case you’re thinking of upgrading.
Why do pellet stoves make noise?
Unlike a traditional wood-burning stove, pellet stoves use small pellets as fuel. These are usually made from sawdust, bark, and other agricultural waste. This makes them a good option because they use existing (and otherwise wasted) materials.
As with any other mechanical device, you can expect some level of noise as standard when a pellet stove is working. That said, they’re generally quite quiet things, and so a lot of noise can be a sign of a bigger issue.
Your 3 main sources of noise from a pellet stove are:
1. The fan
Some pellet stoves have a fan fitted to help them circulate the warm air. Others, however, use natural convection, and so these will always be quieter.
The fan will turn on and off on its own and will always make some kind of noise when in operation. However, under normal conditions, this should be no louder than a refrigerator motor or something similar.
If the system becomes clogged with soot or other debris, it can result in the fan making more noise than usual. Also, some cheaper models won’t have quality components fitted, and so may make more noise anyway.
2. The pellets
As I mentioned, you can always expect some kind of noise from a stove that’s burning. The fuel itself will make noise, whether it’s cracking, spluttering, or the sound of it falling.
While this isn’t necessarily a bad noise (it can be quite relaxing on a cold day), it can be distracting in some situations. Bear in mind though, some level of noise is completely normal when burning fuel.
If the system becomes clogged from improper cleaning, this can result in wheezing or whistling noises because there’s not enough airflow. This is a fairly simple problem to solve, however.
3. The fuel system
Pellet stoves basically contain an automatic fuel dispenser, which can be a big help. This system uses a motor to drop fuel from the hopper into the burning chamber, which supplies a constant source of heat. See the video below.
The motor generally isn’t loud because it’s not very powerful, and isn’t on all the time. However, like other moving parts, it can become worn over time, which can result in it becoming louder.
The most obvious solution is to replace it, but you can perform a bit of maintenance work to get it running smoothly again.
How to make a pellet stove quieter
While there are a few almost silent pellet stoves on the market, there isn’t much point in buying a new one when you can make your existing one quieter.
You will find over time that your pellet stove could be making more noise than before. This is because, like anything else, it wears, which can have an impact on its function and efficiency.
So if you think your pellet stove is making a bit too much noise, try some of these solutions. If you have any concerns about noise levels pointing to a bigger problem, however, call in a professional.
1. Tighten everything up
Just like anything else with moving parts, pellet stoves can get looser over time. Another thing worth considering is that the constant heating and cooling of the metal causes it to expand and contract, which can strain the joins.
This is an incredibly easy problem to solve because you just need a screwdriver and/or wrench, depending on the design. Go round and check all the screws and bolts, ensuring everything is tight enough.
It’s possible that the motor is held in place with plastic ties, such as cable ties or something similar. These can be tightened or replaced if necessary, as the motor can wobble itself out of place.
I’d recommend checking everything over once every few months or so to keep it in good order. Loose screws will not only make more noise, but it’ll affect the stove’s efficiency too.
2. Make sure the feet are level
It’s likely that when the stove was set up its feet were leveled out. However, over time the stove could’ve moved itself causing it to not be level any more. While it’s unlikely it’ll wobble itself too much, wonky feet can cause plenty of vibrations.
You could buy something like these workbench feet (Amazon) which should fit fairly easily onto a stove. They have rubber rings on the bottom to reduce movement and vibration transfer.
Alternatively, you could buy some heat resistant foam (Amazon) and make your own feet pads. This is also a good option if your pellet stove has a wide base and sits directly on the floor.
If you’re going to put the stove on a cushioned pad, just be sure the material can withstand the heat. The last thing you want is for it to melt and create a fire hazard!
3. Clean and alter the heat exchanger rod
Pellet stoves use something called a heat exchanger. This is heated up inside the stove by the burnt fuel, and then it transfers the heat into the room. It’s designed like this because it means you don’t end up with a smoky room.
Over time, the heat exchanger can become clogged with debris and ash, meaning you need to clean it. A buildup of debris means less air is circulating inside the stove, which both affects efficiency and can make things much louder.
There are 2 ways to solve this problem:
- If it’s just ash, brush everything down with a paintbrush to dislodge stuck bits.
- Go over it with a vacuum cleaner, which can get a bit messy!
- If you notice a buildup of tar, set the stove to full for around 30 minutes.
- This should turn the tar into ash, which can then be removed with the above method.
You should clean the inside of your pellet stove regularly, although this will depend on how often you use it. For regular use, check it over once a month or so.
If you only use it in the winter, check it over at the beginning and end of the season, and this should be enough. You can check out this video for more information on how to clean a pellet stove.
4. Clean the rest of it too
Although it’s worth focusing on the heat exchanger to begin with, it’s helpful to give everything else a good clean too. As with normal wood-burning stoves, debris can clog the system, resulting in more noise.
Pay attention to areas like the bottom of the fuel pot or the burn grate. Work under the assumption that if it’s hard to reach, it’s likely got a buildup of debris.
You might need something abrasive for this job, such as wire wool. You can use a screwdriver on the grate, but just be careful not to damage the stove. Realistically it’ll be most difficult the first time, but once you clean it regularly it’ll become less of a problem.
While cleaning a pellet stove isn’t difficult, you can find some more information on the best cleaning techniques here.
5. Use some gasket tape for a quick fix
If you’ve tightened up everything you can but notice some vibrations or unnecessary noises, you can try some gasket tape for a quick fix.
Obviously you’ll need a heat resistant gasket tape (Amazon). This one is designed for BBQs and so will work well under these conditions. You could use it for the following things:
- Apply it to the base to stop vibrations
- Fix some around the chimney to improve the draw
- Fill any gaps that might be affecting airflow
However, gasket tape isn’t a long-term solution. Use it to fix a minor problem, but call out a professional if something needs fixing.
The best quiet pellet stoves
If you’re in the market for a new pellet stove, why not consider looking for a quiet one? There aren’t many buying factors to consider, as they’re all quite efficient and reasonably priced.
Here are my top picks for the best quiet pellet stoves:
1. Comfortbilt HP22 Pellet Stove
While this pellet stove is not massively different in design to many others on the market, it’s certainly much quieter. More than anything, its bay design, and solid walls help to dampen any noise it makes.
It has a large “viewing area”, which refers to how much space it can comfortably heat. This pellet stove can heat up to 2,800 square feet, making it a fairly good choice for almost any household.
The only thing that makes any noise is the fan, but even this runs quietly. This model has fewer moving parts, which means less maintenance and less that could go wrong.
Cleaning is a breeze and the ashtray only needs to be emptied every 6 months, even with regular use. Overall, this is a good pellet stove regardless but is made better by how quiet it is.
2. Wiseway GW1949 Pellet Stove
This model is quite impressive because it doesn’t have any electrical parts. Its fuel hopper works on gravity and its fan works on a simple draft system. Importantly, this eliminates the potential of any loud moving parts.
The stove uses convection to radiate heat and has a viewing area of up to 2,000 square feet. It’s generally more efficient than other models because it doesn’t use electricity, and so doesn’t consume energy at all.
You can find out more about its features in the video below, but this is a good choice for those wanting a quiet stove. What’s more, its unusual appearance makes it a good talking point too!
It’s really easy to clean and maintain because there are fewer moving parts. You’ll probably only have to clean it once or twice a year to keep it running smoothly.
3. Harman Absolute 43 Pellet Stove
Along with being one of the quietest on the market, this pellet stove also claims to be the smartest. It’s got a built-in touchscreen that allows you to control the temperature, burn speed, and many more functions.
Importantly for our purposes, it comes with Whisper mode, which massively reduces the amount of noise it makes. Considering it’s quiet in the first place, this makes it almost silent.
It’s got a range of other interesting (but potentially unnecessary) features, such as an illuminated hopper lid, reactive mirrored glass, and multi-directional airflow.
Although these features sound impressive, it does obviously mean more moving parts. These can be made quieter using the whisper mode, but obviously it also means there’s more potential for things to go wrong. It also means there are more parts to clean.
4. Quadra-Fire Castille Pellet Stove
This stove can heat up to 1,700 square feet, which makes it the least impressive on this list. However, it still performs really well and will be perfect for smaller spaces.
More than anything, it’s incredibly quiet and really easy to maintain. It has electrical parts, but fewer than some other models. The feed system and firepot are specially designed for ease of cleaning.
It also uses softer pellets than some other models, meaning it makes less noise when the fuel is burning. Overall this is a good choice for those wanting a simple yet effective pellet stove.
Some final thoughts
Making a pellet stove quieter isn’t the hardest job in the world. Hopefully, I’ve shown you that the easiest way to do this is with regular cleaning and maintenance.
However, if you’re in the market for a new one, consider one of these quiet pellet stoves. You’d be surprised how much difference it can really make.
Also read: How to make a microwave quieter