Wood Stoves And Pellet Stoves Add Cozy Warmth While Saving Money On Heating
Wood stoves and pellet stoves add cozy warmth while saving money on heating.
Wood stoves and pellet stoves are being rediscovered as great ways to save money on heating bills. As the price of gas and oil escalate, these cost-efficient options become even more attractive. Add to that, possible tax credit and it's hard to resist.
After all, who wouldn't love coming in to warm your hands at a welcoming, warm fire after a brisk fall walk. Or imagine the cozy warmth coming from a real wood fire and listening to the crackle of the burning wood while watching the snowfall outside.
So if you are thinking of adding a wood-burning stove or pellet stove, or maybe even a fireplace insert to your home, this should be a good place to start your research.
Hopefully, with the help of this site, you will soon know if a wood stove is right for you. If it is, the decision of what type of stove is most appropriate should be easier as well.
It can seem overwhelming at first- deciding what is best for your situation. Is it a fireplace insert for your existing fireplace? Would a catalytic or non-catalytic model of a wood-burning stove be best? How do you know what size you need for your space? What exactly is a pellet stove and how is it different?
So let's start with a very brief introduction. The buttons at the left will take you to more detailed pages for each item.
Woodstove can refer to any variety of wood-burning, heat-producing enclosed devices. There are traditional stoves, wood cookstoves, pellet stoves that burn small wood pellets instead of logs. There are also corn pellet stoves that burn a corn product. Fireplace inserts are designed to fit into an existing wood-burning fireplace to modify it to burn wood more efficiently, producing more heat and less smoke and ash.
Use the links to help find the best option for your home.
Pellet stoves are a great option to add warmth to your home without the need for a large supply of firewood or even a chimney!
So why are pellet stoves becoming more popular?
Would you like to add a space-heating stove without the hassle of maintaining a large store of firewood? Do you like the idea of stove heat but don't want to deal with installing or cleaning a chimney?
In addition, pellet stoves work by convective heat (see this page about how these stoves function for explanation) and not radiant heat (like wood-log burners) so do not get as hot to the touch- this could be crucial if you have children or pets and worry about the burn risk.
Many people who answered yes to those questions decided that a pellet stove is just the answer.
But of course, there's more to know before making this decision.
These stoves burn either wood pellets, pellets made of another material, or corn.
A stove that burns corn is the second most popular option after wood. To learn more about corn stoves, go here...
Wood pellets are made of compressed sawdust and recycled wood and are purchased by the bag or in bulk from a distributer locally or via the internet.
Pellets burn very efficiently because they are densely compressed with most of the moisture removed. It is for this reason that there is a very little by-product and no chimney is needed to vent the smoke.
Here's some other stuff you need to know before deciding that this type of wood-burning stove is right for you.
--While you don't need a chimney, you do need to be able to vent to the outside. A vent can be installed very simply, however, it needs to be constructed of a type of double-layer pipe specified for this purpose.
--Pellet stoves are great since they can run for one to three days on a 'load' or 'hopper-full' of pellets. However, this automation is powered by electricity. This means that in the event of a power failure, the stove will not run, which may eliminate a huge advantage of getting this type of heater in the first place.
A corn pellet stove will extinguish almost immediately (corn won't burn if the auger/agitator isn't turning), while stoves that burn wood pellets may continue to burn until the pellets in the burn pot are consumed.
Recognizing this potential drawback, manufacturers in many models provide or sell battery back up sources for the stoves to circumvent this potential disadvantage. See the link for wood stove accessories to preview what types of alternatives exist for this purpose. If you have a generator back up for your home, this can be used in the event of a power failure to ensure continued service from your stove.
--This type of heat-producing stove will not provide the same flame as a log burning stove. If you like the look of a log fire, be sure to visit a dealer and see a pellet stove in 'action' to make sure you won't be disappointed with the character of the fire. There are also ceramic 'logs' that disperse the flame to give a more characteristic flame pattern.
--Although pellet stoves look like a good old-fashioned (or new-fashioned) wood-burning stoves, they are much more complex appliances with both moving and electrical parts. For details of the parts and workings of this type of heater, see this page on how pellet stoves work.
Knowing how pellet stoves work, how to care for them to protect the parts, and what accessories might be needed is useful before buying a stove.
It is important to understand how pellet stoves work before deciding to purchase one. They are not just another rendition of a wood log stove. Having a grasp of the pellet stove parts can help with troubleshooting later on too if a problem should arise.
First, electricity is required to run the pellet stove although the requirement should below. Overall, your utility bills should still be lower after accounting for the price of pellets and the electricity and offsetting all of this with the extra heat generated by the stove. A backup source of power is required, however, to ensure the stove will still provide heat during a power outage. If you have a home generator, there is no issue. If not, many stoves can be or are outfitted with an external battery backup.
So what are the pellet stove parts and what does each one do?
How pellet stoves work involve at least 5 or 6 basic parts...
1) Fans-There are at least 2 fans. One is designed to draw room air into the stove to fuel the fire. The other disperse the heated air from the stove to the room after the air has been heated by the fire and passed over the heat exchangers (usually heated to 250 degrees)
2) Hopper-The hopper is where you add the pellets. Some models are top-loadersthatand some are bottom loaders. Top-loaders may have the advantage that soot and ash are less likely to 'back-burn' into the hopper and cause a fire. Bottom loaders are easier to load.
Most hoppers hold enough pellets for a day or two of burning. This is a definite advantage over wood-log burning stoves which may need to be attended to several times a day, at least to stoke the fire or add logs.
3) Auger- The auger is a moving corkscrew-like apparatus. This is the part that is responsible for delivering the pellets to the firebox where they are burned. Some augers are manually set to deliver pellets at a constant rate. As you approach higher-end stoves, the is adjustable. Some stoves even have the auger and pellet delivery rate controlled by a thermostat for maximum convenience and comfort.
4) Firebox or Burnpot- The firebox is just as it sounds. It is the place where the fuel and air mix to cause a fire.
5) Heat Exchanger- These are metal elements that heat the air before it is blown by the convection fan to heat your room.