Pellet Stoves

 
           
    There are currently more than half a million homes in North America using pellet stoves for heat, and probably a similar number in Europe.

Construction

The pellet stove has changed in appearance over the years from a
simple, boxy workhorse design, to a decorative heating appliance. Pellet stoves can be either free-standing units or fireplace inserts vented into an existing chimney. Most pellet stoves are constructed using large, conductive, cast-iron pieces, with stainless steel to encase circuitry and exhaust areas.


Operation

A pellet stove burns small, wood-based fuel pellets - typically wood sawdust or off-cuts - which are very clean-burning. The stove uses a a motor-driven feed screw to transfer pellets from a storage hopper to a combustion chamber. Air is provided for the combustion by an electric blower. The ignition is automatic, using a stream of air heated by an electrical element. The rotation speeds of the feeder and the blower fan can be varied to adjust the heat output.

 

 

 

 

 

Pellet stoves are relatively versatile appliances. They can be lit either manually or through an automatic igniter, and cycle themselves on and off via a thermostat.  The ignition assembly is similar to the cigarette lighter heating coil often found in automobiles. Stoves with automatic ignition are also often equipped with a remote control.

A properly cleaned and maintained pellet stove should not create creosote, the sticky, flammable substance that causes chimney fires. Pellets burn very cleanly and create only a layer of fine ash as a byproduct of combustion.

Pellet Quality

The grade of pellet fuel affects the stove's performance and ash output. Premium grade pellets produce less than one percent ash content, while standard or low grade pellets produce a range from two to four percent ash. Pellet stove users should be aware of the extra maintenance required with a lower grade pellet.

Click Here for more information about the relative pros and cons of the different types of fuel:  firewood, wood pellets, natural gas or electricity.

 

 

 
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