How to Light a Pellet Stove

Pellet stoves are an efficient source of heat in many homes, however, if you are new to the world of wood pellet stove heating, you may be unsure how to light one. Luckily, between this blog post and automatic ignition, lighting a pellet stove is easier now than ever before.

In this post, we’ll provide the latest information, take a look at what pellet-stove enthusiasts have to say and answer questions such as Why isn’t my pellet stove lighting? Read on and learn how to safely and efficiently light it up.

What is a Pellet Stove?

To recap for those pellet stove newcomers, a pellet stove is a heating appliance that uses pellets made of compressed sawdust or other organic material referred to as biomass fuel. The pellets are fed into the stove's combustion chamber, where they are ignited and burned to produce heat.

How to Light a Pellet Stove with Automatic Ignition: Ease of Use and Simplicity

A hand adjusting a pellet stove temperature
Today's pellet stoves feature electric automatic ignition. This innovative technology makes the lighting process user-friendly and easier than the older manual ignition. The consumer simply fills the hopper with wood pellets, sets a temperature on the push button dial or touch control and lights the stove. The ignition process typically takes a few minutes as the firebox heats up.

To get a more detailed view of the process, you can refer to our online resources, where you’ll find our instructions on how to light a Harman EASY Touch unit as well as how to auto-light a Harman P-Series featuring a dial control board. In general, we want to remind you once again to check any manufacturer’s instructions before lighting your stove.

Key Steps to Lighting a Wood Pellet Heating Stove

A hopper filled with pellets for a pellet stove

  • Your stove must be off before beginning the ignition process.
  • Ensure the stove's hopper is filled with pellets and that the ash pan is empty.
  • Make certain the front door, ash door and hopper lid are closed.
  • Always remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines.

How Long Does a Pellet Stove Take to Heat Up?

Once your stove is running, it will begin to heat your home. However, the desired temperature is not reached right away. A pellet stove can take anywhere from three to six hours to reach the set temperature. It depends on the size of your house, the stove’s make and model, the outside temperature and the home’s insulation.

Lighting a Harman Pellet Stove During a Power Outage

Losing power during winter is inconvenient and uncomfortable. However, with preparation and knowledge you can safely and effectively light and run your pellet stove during a power outage.

Harman pellet stoves make power outages less frustrating. If you experience an outage your pellet stove will shut down and the fire within will continue to burn until it goes out on its own. Keep the appliance doors closed during this time so that any remaining smoke will stay in the stove and not infiltrate your home.

There are specific battery backup systems that we recommend for our stoves. Harman’s brand of choice is Tripp Lite. Depending upon the amount of power and level of convenience you’re seeking, you can find the model that’s right for you.


Why isn’t my pellet stove lighting?

Depending on your stove model, this issue has several possible causes, including your appliance’s cleanliness, the last time maintenance was performed and whether or not the igniter is malfunctioning. Look in your product manual to find more detailed information and ways you can remedy the situation. If you have a Harman stove and can’t find your manual, click here for a digital copy.

Why won’t my pellet stove shut off?

As a safety feature, your appliance’s convection and combustion blowers continue to operate even if your appliance is in the “OFF” position or your thermostat has been turned down. They shut off once they no longer sense heat in the firebox, thus protecting your home from any unwanted re-ignitions.

If the blowers still do not shut down long after you’ve turned your stove off, contact your local Harman dealer. Most importantly, if the problem persists, do not unplug your appliance. Unplugging your stove can damage the appliance’s electrical components.

How often should I perform maintenance on my pellet stove?

To ensure that your pellet stove functions properly, you must conduct regular maintenance including disposing of ashes, cleaning the burn pot, glass and heat exchanger, and inspecting the pipe. Each product varies in size and is made up of different components. Other maintenance may be needed also, depending on the size and type of your stove. It’s always best to consult your owner’s manual.

If you have a Harman stove and want to view a digital copy of your manual, click here.

If I find unburned pellets in my ash pan, can I reuse them?

To ensure your safety, never put any debris or pellets found in the ash pan back into your stove’s hopper. Ash pan debris may contain embers, which could ignite the rest of the fuel within. Properly dispose of these pellets along with the rest of the debris by emptying the ash pan into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep this container away from any combustible materials at all times.

For more resources on wood pellet heating stoves, explore our website. We have a wealth of information for buyers that are shopping around as well as owners looking to operate their wood pellet heating stoves more efficiently.

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