What Is a Pellet Stove?

What Is a Pellet Stove?

Wishing you could warm your hands with a cozy fire this winter? No need to build a fireplace or chop wood! Consumers are increasingly choosing the pellet stove for its energy efficiency, compact design, and convenience. And because you don’t need a chimney, it can be a great option for mobile homes, cottages and workshops.

How Do Pellet Stoves Work?

The best thing about pellet stoves is their ease of use. Pellet stoves ignite small pellets of fuel using electricity. Most of a pellet stove’s functions are controlled automatically. Users simply pour fuel pellets into a hopper, which dispenses fuel into the stove as needed.

Pellet stoves automatically regulate the heat they generate through a thermostat. Some stoves even come with remote control thermostats. Any ash produced by the fire empties into a pan beneath the unit for easy disposal.

Pellet Stove Fuel

Pellet stoves burn compressed wood to generate heat. Some models burn nut shells or shelled corn. Remember to stick to approved fuel sources—you can buy these pellets (they are inexpensive)—at any hardware or feed store. Because wood pellets are made from the byproducts of lumber industries, they effectively recycle material that would otherwise be landfilled. Pellets also provide cleaner heat with far less carbon dioxide emissions than burning gas or coal.

Pellet Stoves vs. Woodstoves

Pellet stoves are less labor intensive than woodstoves. While pellet stoves self-regulate through a thermostat and an automatic fuel hopper, woodstoves require users to monitor and adjust the temperature with fuel and the flue.

Instead of requiring a chimney, pellet stoves come with their own venting system that can run through an exterior wall. Pellet stoves also produce less ash and creosote than woodstoves.

The main drawback of a pellet stove is that it runs on electricity. If your power goes out, so does your source of heat. If you’re concerned about power outages during the winter, consider purchasing a backup generator or pellet stove battery backup to get you through the blackout.

Pellet Stove Safety and Installation

The total cost of buying and installing a pellet stove is usually lower than that of a woodstove. Because they come with a venting system, pellet stoves can be easily installed.

It’s important to install your pellet stove in a safe space. Keep it away from any flammable furniture or drapes and be sure to place a hearth pad beneath a freestanding pellet stove. Make sure your vent is properly installed. Even though it does not use natural gas, pellet stoves produce carbon monoxide as a result of pellet combustion. Properly installed venting systems usher potentially fatal carbon monoxide away from your home’s interior.

If you have further concerns about carbon monoxide, check out Aire Serv® carbon monoxide safety tips.

Tune-Up Your HVAC System

Whether or not you own a pellet stove, it’s likely that you have either a furnace or heater in your home. Before the cold sets in, schedule a Total Comfort Tune-Up for your HVAC system. Breathe easy knowing that Aire Serv pros have your system safe and ready for winter. Request an appointment online or call (855) 512-2886 today.

Your new pellet stove will need its own 110v AC outlet and dedicated circuit breaker. Trust Mr. Electric® to install the new dedicated circuit to your home, safely and professionally. Mr. Electric is a part of the Neighbourly® community of home service brands.

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