Pellet Stoves: Popular Eco-Friendly Choice For Home Heating Winter 2021


A pellet stove has a BTU output content four to five times higher than cordwood or wood chip. Overall, pellets boast 75% – 90% efficiency.  According to Treehugger.com, “…Pellet stoves also have very low particulate emissions; 50 times less than older, non-EPA certified wood stoves, and two to five times lower than more efficient, EPA-certified wood stoves.”

Although this is a debatable claim on some fronts, pellets are a carbon-neutral fuel. PelletHeat.com claims that pellet fuel has been proven to “provide the cleanest burn of any solid fuel”–and that you can see the proof at the EPA site. PelletHeat.com stated: “Pellets themselves are also often made from sawdust and other small wood particles which are byproducts of wood milling, and might otherwise be headed for the landfill.”

And since pellet production isn’t necessarily impacted by world events (unlike fossil fuels as we’re all very well aware), the cost of pellets is both more predictable and (usually) more affordable.

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Long burning time – Just set it and and got it aflame a few minutes ago. Puts out a lot of heat and has a nice vertical flame and zero smoke. Very cool to look at and seems well made. It’s been burning about 20 minutes on a set of pellets 2″ deep so far and is starting to slow down but it’s still hot.

An advantage cited by nearly all sources is that a pellet stove doesn’t require an existing fireplace or chimney for venting, which is convenient and can save money during a new installation. A small wall opening or “pellet-vent” (a short length of special stainless steel pipe 3″-4″ inches in diameter) can be used instead, and even disguised by shrubbery.

Some pellet stoves operate according to a wall-thermostat, turning themselves on and off as needed. Combined with a large fuel (pellet) capacity, these larger, higher quality pellet stoves can run for a several days at a low setting unattended.

Maintenance

Depending on the level of maintenance you’re used to with your current heat source, a pellet stove’s maintenance schedule can be either a positive or a negative. They are equipped with easily-accessible ash pans and serviceable parts, should be cleaned regularly (about once a month) and maintenance annually.

Compared to wood stoves, pellet stoves have more complicated components and sensitive electronics that require professional maintenance. CustomFireplacesandMore.com recommends that you make sure to avoid expensive repair issues by purchasing a from a store that provides quality maintenance services.

Otherwise, ensure that the stove you purchase, whether online or via catalogue, can be serviced through a local source.

Treehugger.com points out that pellets are “manufactured in 33 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces…and if bought from a local source, are [an] energy-efficient choice.” Naturally, purchasing pellets shipped across country dimishes their efficeincy when you include the energy it took to transport the pellets.

Additionally, unlike wood stoves or a fireplace, a pellet stove is dependent on electricity to run, about 100-kilowatt hours per month. If your pellet stove doesn’t have a battery back-up, although many do, if your power is out, so is your heat.

Something that can be a real problem, particularly in years when fuel prices are high, is that the demand for pellets surpasses the supply in some areas, driving the prices up. If space allows, purchase and store your winter supply in advance to avoid shortages during the peak season.

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