While some still view wood-burning stoves as an old fashioned addition to a home, today’s stoves are vastly different from their older counterparts. Modern stoves are available in a variety of sizes and styles at several different price points. With stoves made out of cast iron, soapstone, and stainless steel, Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney can help you find a stove that fits your heating, aesthetic, and budget needs.
In addition, stoves have become more energy efficient than ever. Those certified by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, are designed to produce less smoke and burn safer. When properly vented and installed, freestanding stoves can create a low cost way to heat a room or area of a home.
As fuel costs and energy bills continue to rise, one of the stove types gaining popularity is the pellet stove. These appliances are between 75 and 90% efficient and have a BTU output that is 4-5 times higher than traditional firewood. In addition, pellet stoves create 50 times less particulate emissions compared to older, non-EPA certified wood stoves; their emissions are still 2-5 times lower than even modern EPA-certified wood-burning stoves.
What is a pellet stove?
Like all traditional stoves, pellet stoves are run by burning a fuel source. In this case the fuel source, or pellets, is made of recycled materials such as sawdust and other small wood particles. Because of this, many consider the use of pellet stoves a green energy source.
Most pellet stoves require a small amount of electricity to run, meaning that they would be inoperable during a power outage. However, small generators easily produce enough electricity to power a pellet stove. Additionally, some brands have begun developing stoves that can run without electricity.
Benefits of pellet stoves
Unlike firewood, which must be purchased in advance in large quantities and stored in special locations, pellets are extremely easy to transport and store. Typically sold in 40 pound bags, pellets can be stacked in garages and sheds with a minimal amount of space and mess. The storage space needed for pellets is 80 cubic feet per ton, versus the 128 cubic feet for a heat-producing equivalent cord of firewood. In addition, as they are widely sold in a variety of stores pellets can often be purchased as needed, negating the necessity of a large, bulk order each winter.
Another considerable advantage of pellet stoves is that they do not need to be regularly stoked or tended. Depending on the size of the stove and the amount of heat it needs to produce, many stoves can go for up to 18 hours – if not several days – without being reloaded. Pellet stoves also burn without the unpleasant odors sometimes associated with wood-burning appliances.
When purchasing a new pellet stove, it is important to work with a supplier and installer who are knowledgeable with both the product and its specific care instructions. Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney can help you select a pellet stove to meet your heating needs, as well as give instructions regarding the care, upkeep, feeding, and cleaning of your specific stove.