Pellet stoves

Pellet stoves come in many different brands such as Vulcan, Lancaster, Bixby, Glow Boy, Harman, Ashley and Breckwell.

A pellet stove usually needs to be refueled once a day. It has a fuel storage built in that holds the pellets until they are needed for burning. Normally these storages fit between 35 to 130 pounds of pellets, depending on the model.

The heat of the pellet stove

A feeder device that looks like a large screw, drops the pellets a few at a time into the chamber for buning. The pace at which the pellets are fed to the burner, decides the heat output. On more advanced models you get modern technology at your aid with a built in small computer and thermostat that controls the feed rate of the pellet.

Some advantages of pellet stoves

  • The fuel for pellet stoves is compressed and bagged, saving heavy lifting and dirt.
  • Most pellet stoves stay rather cool on the outside (watch out for the glass doors though!).
  • Pellet stoves burn the fuel so completely, very little creosote is created, meaning less of a fire hazard.

Som disadvantages of pellet stoves

  • A pellet stove is more complex than its wood counterpart and has more pricy pellet stove parts that can break down.
  • To control fans and pellet feeders you need electricity. Normal usage consumes about 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh), equivalent of about $9 of electricity a month.
  • If the pellet stove does not have a back-up power supply, the loss of electric power means no heat and some potential smoke in the house. A battery back-up can be a good idea.

Ready to buy?

Make sure you compare pellet stoves before you buy to see which ones fits your needs best. Decide if you want freestanding stoves or pellet stove inserts. Also check that it is easy for you to find a good supply of pellet nearby.

When you have this down, you are set for your pellet stove installation and for a great heating source using recycled fuel.