A lot of homeowners are thinking about installing pellet stoves to stay warm this winter, and for good reason: They burn cleanly, produce tons of heat, and require little maintenance. And people who own pellet stoves absolutely love them.
A pellet stoves is a heating appliance that’s similar to a wood stove, but instead of burning firewood, it burns compressed hardwood pellets that are considered carbon-neutral.
Here’s how a pellet stove works: You pour pellets into the storage hopper located at the top. An electric auger delivers the pellets from the hopper to the burn chamber. Sensors within the stove monitor the fuel supply and tell the auger when to drop a new pellet. It will put in just enough pellets to keep the fire burning small but extremely hot. There are never more than a small handful of pellets in the burn chamber at any one time.
A pellet stoves has a combustion blower that pulls outside air into the stove through a fresh-air vent and then blows out smoke and fumes through a stainless-steel exhaust vent. There’s also a convection blower that draws room air into the stove and blows heated air into the room through a series of heat-exchange tubes. The stove will automatically deliver heat, based on the thermostat setting. All you need to do is keep the hopper filled with pellets.
There are two basic types of pellet stoves: freestanding models and pellet stove inserts that fit into existing fireplaces. And while pellet stoves are typically installed as a supplement to the home’s primary heating system, that doesn’t mean they can’t heat your entire home if you want it to.
Pellet stoves burn so hot and clean that there’s very little ash left behind, especially compared with woodstoves. The owner usually has to empty the pellet stove’s ash pan just once a week, even if the stove is used every day. And pellets produce virtually no creosote, which is a major cause of chimney fires.
For more information on pellet stoves and inserts, contact St. Croix Stoves.