What You Need to Know About Wood Pellet Stoves and Fireplace Inserts
Wood Pellet Stoves – Cheaper Than Oil Heat and Less Mess Than Fireplaces.
Looking for an alternative way to heat your home as oil prices continue going skyward? Are you tired of splitting and hauling cords of wood into your house? … A wood pellet stove or fireplace insert could be the answer.
There are a number of things about pellet stoves that draws people to them – the ambiance and radiance of a wood-burning stove, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and reliability without the mess and hassle associated with burning cordwood.
Wood burning pellet stoves come in a large variety of styles (both traditional and modern), many sizes, finishes, and heating output. They burn cleaner than traditional wood stoves and many are equipped with fans and thermostats to heat your home more evenly.
There are two main styles of wood-burning pellet stoves – freestanding stoves and fireplace inserts. Both are efficient and use your existing flue to exhaust the fumes. The free-standing stoves have many more styles, but must be installed on a non-combustible floor protector. Another advantage is that wood pellet stoves can be installed much close to combustible surfaces than traditional wood stoves.
Some wood pellet fireplace inserts only work in brick fireplaces, whilst others can also be installed in approved factory-built metal fireplaces.
Built-in wood pellet stoves are an economical choice that offers homes without an existing fireplace, the look of an insert in a fireplace setting. These stoves can be built into the fireplace (surrounded by bricks) to give the appearance of a fireplace.
There are also larger pellet furnaces designed to heat an entire house through ductwork. They are usually installed in a basement and require efficient venting to the outside through an approved vent or flue.
The fuel source (wood pellets) are made of compressed sawdust and provide benefits for the home and environment. These pellets are easy to haul (they come in easy to store and move bags) and they use scrap wood – the wood that is normally thrown away or is left after trees are harvested (thus helping the environment). One thing to consider is where you’re going to store the pellets – you’ll need space for the pallets of pellets.
A hopper stores the wood pellet stoves and can hold around three day’s fuel. Monthly cleaning is necessary (similar to emptying an ashtray). These heating appliances can provide an average heat output of anywhere between 10,000 to over 50,000 BTUs per hour.
Please consult your local building department to find out their requirements BEFORE you invest in a wood pellet stove or fireplace insert. You should also consult with a certified dealer or installer who can advise and if required supply and install a suitable venting system.