Statistics have shown that heating costs are around a third of the costs of most homes’ utility bills. Therefore people are seeking cost saving and efficient ways to stay warm. One of these alternatives is the pellet stove. They look like a conventional wood stove but operate just like the modern furnace. Their popularity can be linked to the great features and characteristics.
Pellet Stove Efficiency
Pellet stoves are designed to use compacted pellets as the primary fuel. Though some stoves can use other types of fuel such as corn and wood chips, premium pellets are the recommended type of fuel. The use of pellets makes the stove more convenient than the ordinary stove. These pellets are ready for use, so no preparation is needed. Using pellets, you save costs and time on splitting wood. The big advantage is that a clean burning stove can be guaranteed, because these stoves have high heat efficiencies and little air pollution. According to EPA, pellet stove efficiency can range between 70% and 85%.
As of July 2015, EPA had certified seven pellet stove companies. This was done according to the regulations set out requiring stoves to undergo efficiency testing. At the time, Ningboa, a Chinese manufacturer, which retailed at $1,500 was rated at 81% and was considered to be the best rated pellet stove. This was closely followed by Smart stove, a product of England’s stove works, rated at 79%. Seraph Industries also have a stove that was rated at 78%. Basically, U.S.-made stoves have been rated at an average of 70% efficiency. However, it shouldn’t surprise you to find a pellet stove whose efficiency is between 55 and 65%. Here you can check out some of the most efficient pellet stoves on the market.
Operation and Handling of Pellet Stoves
The availability of pellet stoves in freestanding and fireplace insert designs makes them easy to handle. The stoves are designed in a way that they can be moved from one place to the other. This works perfectly for you if you are adopting the zone heating model. When it comes to their operation, pellet stoves are self-fed. Accordingly, you do not need to refuel every now and then. The stoves come with a hopper that is used to store pellets. Using the automatic feeding system, the pellets move from the hopper to the fireplace automatically. On average, the hopper holds between 16 and 60 kilograms (35 and 130 pounds) of pellets. This is enough to last for a day.
Pellet stoves are considered to be a clean heating appliance. This however doesn’t mean that they do not produce any pollutants. These stoves are known to give out emissions such as sox, nox and volatile organic compounds. Though the production is low in these stoves, the dangers accruing cannot be ignored. One of the major concerns is the emission of particulate matter especially in urban centers. These are areas where the concentration of pellet stoves is high as the stoves are in close proximity.
Cleanup and Maintenance
One of the major concerns among stove owners is the stove’s maintenance. Thus getting a stove that isn’t so demanding when it comes to cleanup and maintenance, is a plus. Pellet stoves are considered to be among the easiest to clean and to maintain. The fact that these stoves do not produce a lot of smoke and moisture means that it doesn’t need regular cleanup. The stove’s chimney takes some time to clog with creosote, therefore fewer cleanups. A stove which has been used for an average of 8 hours a day, will only need the annual cleanup for the chimney to serve you all year round.
Pellet Stove Safety
A stove’s safety is the highest priority, especially if you will be using it as the primary source of heat. Pellet stoves are quite safe when compared to other stoves. The reason is that the stoves are professionally designed to remain cool to the touch even after hours of operation. This is very important, in particular when having kids and pets at home.
Another feature that makes pellet stoves safe is the nature of their chimneys. Due to the fact that the stoves do not produce a lot of smoke and little creosote is formed, the chimney fires shouldn’t be a major concern. If you have used conventional stoves, you may also have noted that a lot of heat accumulates around the stove. This is another safety concern, especially if proper clearance is not adhered to. This has been taken account in the production of pellet stoves, as they come with a fan that helps distributing the heat evenly and lowering the risk of fire outbreaks.
All these features among others make the pellet stove a great appliance, proving it to be worth its cost. The stove ensures the high quality standards and give you an exceptional value for money.