This stove requires little maintenance due to the design. All of the posts on this forum suggest dismantling everything and cleaning religiously…..I started removing covers to do just that the first year. I think that some pellet stoves are designed better than others. I do a final cleanout in the spring, and put dessicant packs in the stove through the summer to keep the moisture out.
Very little dust, and almost not worth the effort. (But I still check periodically) The stove gets vacuumed at least once per week, and the ash pans work great. Invest in a good ash resistant vaccum.
It has a huge hopper, holds 1+ bag easily. Depending on how you use the stove, 1 bag lasts a week. I use the stove for about 3-4hrs each night. For the last 3 years, I go through 18 bags in the season. Keep in mind that this is supplemental only, but could easily heat 2000ft, but would go through way more pellets. I would say that this stove is quite efficient.
The stove works in auto, so it runs until it meets the setpoint, then idles down. It can work like that or low, high or auto. I use the built in thermostat, but it can use an external one as well.
I couldnt be happier with it. As said earlier, the main issue I have is the noise from the med/high speed fan. Once the room gets to temp, it slows down and is probably closer to the more expensive stoves.
Experiment with pellets. They are not all the same. I have been sticking with one brand, and the ash content left keeps cleaning down to a minimum.