The Eastern U.S. has been hammered for the last few years with brutally cold winters, while the Western U.S. has had very warm winters. I remember several 70 degree days in December the last few years. This will all change this year.
El Nino forecasts predict a wet winter for everyone. El Niño is expected to affect the entire county which will create a larger than usual demand for Pellet & Gas Stove parts. While those of you living on the East Coast will not have as a cold winter, those of you living on the west coast will have a colder winter than we have had in several years.
With the West Coast using Pellet Stoves a lot more this year and the East Coast using their Pellet Stoves at a normal rate, there is a very real potential for running out of Pellet & Gas Stove parts.
What You Can Do
Start early. While we are having an Indian summer now, it will get cold soon. If you know you need to buy a part to fix your stove, it would be wise to do it now. Even if your stove was working perfectly in the spring it would be a very good idea to start your stove up and find out if you need to fix anything.
Don’t wait for something to break. If you have a motor that has been noisy for some time and you wait till it fails you run the risk of that motor being out of stock when you need it. This happens every year but could be far worse this year. Better to have the part you need on hand.
Stock Up. There are only about 6-8 items on any Pellet Stove that will break. Below is a list of these items and how long on average they last. If you have an item on this list that is older the average lifespan you may consider buying a spare to keep on hand.
Igniters – Igniters can last from a few months up to a few years depending on the stove brand and if you run your stove on a thermostat. Thermostats turn the stove on and off more often which shortens the life of igniters.
Auger Motors – Most stoves have one auger motor and some have two. The cheaper auger motors that run around $60 last about 3-5 years. The motors we carry that run around $100 can last more than 20 years. Englander Pellet Stoves go through auger motors faster so the cheaper motors will last about a year while the higher quality motor will last 3-5 years.
Convection Fan (air room fan) – Depending on the stove brand you can have a Convection fan run 3-5 years or more than 10 years. The brands we carry usually last more than 10 years.
Exhaust Fan (also called Combustion fan or Draft Inducer Fan) Depending on the stove brand you can have an Exhaust fan last 3-5 years or more than 15 years. The brands we carry all last better than 10 years.
Temperature Switches – Because they don’t have moving parts like motors and are not working with high temperatures like igniters it is hard to predict how long a temperature switch will last. But because they don’t cost very much (compared to other items on a stove) you may consider having them on hand just in case.
Control Boards – Like temperature switches, Control Boards do not have moving parts like motors but they do fail. It’s unusual for a Control Board to fail within the first year or two of operation. Beyond that it is hard to predict how long they will last. They don’t fail often so there is usually a supply available. While you may not keep one on hand you should find out who has them if you need one.
Play Smart. Every year my suppliers stock up enough inventory for what they think they need for the coming winter and we always run out of an item or an item doesn’t get delivered when its suppose to and remains out of stock for some time. If you buy parts now, early in the season and the suppliers start to run low earlier than usual, they will make a second order for parts earlier than normal to insure they have stock to last to the end of winter. That is good for everyone.
I appreciate your patronage very much and I look forward to serving your needs this coming winter.