Pellet stoves are fuel burning appliances that burn pellets. A pellet stove is usually made of steel or beautiful cast iron. Pellet stoves have thermostats, forced exhaust blowers and can be vertically or horizontally vented.
Why choose pellet stoves over woodstoves or fireplaces?
- A pellet stove is more convinient to operate,
- They have much higher combustion and heating efficiency
- Pellet stoves produce very little air pollution. They are the cleanest of all solid fuel-burning residential heating appliances.
- Combustion effeciencies of 75-85% makes them excempt from United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) smoke-emission testing requirements (meaning they are very clean)
- Heating capacities range from 8000 to 90000 BTU* per hour
- They are suitable for homes, apartments and condos.
Good total installation price
Pellet stoves usually range in price from around $1600-$3000. They are however most of the time cheaper other heaters to install and many can be direct-vented, saving the cost of an expensive chimney or flue. In total the installed cost may be less than conventional wood stoves.
Freestanding or insert
Pellet stoves can be freestanding or fireplace inserts. The freestanding type usually heats a single room well. To reach adjacent rooms you need an extra fan forcingthe warm into the other rooms. The inserts go in to existing fireplaces.
Bring on the heat!
There are now also on the market furnaces and boilers that are powered by pellets. They are meant to replace or supplement gas or oil furnaces/boilers in your residential space heating system.
Many possible fuels
Some pellet stoves are capable of burning a large variety of biomass fuels, such as corn kernels, small wood chips, beet pulp, nutshells, sunflowers, soybeans and dried cherry pits.
See also where we compare pellet stoves to other appliances.
* BTU = British Thermal Unit, the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. One Btu equals 252 calories, 778 foot-pounds, 1,055 joules or 0.293 watt hours .