As you have probably noticed, it is cooler outside and inside. It is time to put on a little bit of heat. Unfortunately, my heat source is not gas but electric. So, to not just use my electric base boards which cost a fortune to run, I also have a Pellet Stove. Yes, the Pellet Stove also runs on electricity, but it is cost efficient.
In the early 1930’s a lumber mill in Idaho found a way to reuse wood by-products, this was done by compressing the wood by-products into logs which were around 13″ long and about 4″ in diameter. These logs were great for burning as they were cleaner, hotter, and lasted longer than regular firewood you might have known them as Press Logs. A few decades later the same mill came out with wood pellets, these wood pellets were made from sawdust, wood chips, and other by- products at the mill.
Today the pellets can be made from Corn Kernels, Nutshells, Small Wood Chips, Waste Paper Pellets, Grass pellets, Hulled Wheat, and Cherry Pits, but not all stoves can burn these certain fuels. Using the Pellet Stove has the least amount of pollution, and can give out a greater and more even heat source than a wood stove or a fireplace.
In the late 70″s Pellet Stoves were created the designs came from the oil drums and wood stoves that had sawdust hoppers which had been used in the Depression Era. The pellet Stoves ran more efficient than regular wood stoves. The Pellet Stoves were constantly being improved creating heating systems that could produce dry radiant heat that would be enough to heat a small home.
The Pellet Stoves became available to homes in the 1980’s.
Pellets are poured into a hopper that is usually located at the top off the stove. Pellets fall from the hopper into the stove, by gravity or by an auger, the pellets then will enter the combustion chamber or the burn pot. The fire will continue to burn as the air will mix with the combustion chamber.
The Pellet Stove does need to electricity to run the convection blower so it is a good idea to have back up source like a generator in case of long-term power outages. The blower will pull air the room and into the burn pot, this will have the result of a hotter fire that will burn more evenly.
The stove can run very efficiently for about 24 hours depending on the size of your hopper.
It is up to you to control how hot you would like your fire to be as some models have a thermostat.
The Ashes in the stove chamber will need to be cleaned on a regular base, using a good ash vacuum will help.
The Pellet Stove does need to have a chimney, but it should have a vent that goes through an outside wall.
Like all types of heat source there is always pros and cons.
Here are the Pros:
- They have a high efficiency rate.
- They are Eco-Friendly.
- They are easy to install.
- They are very budget friendly.
- They are easy to maintain.
- Pellet Stoves are clean burning.
They are Economical as they are less expensive than burning wood, using gas, running heaters by electricity.
They don’t attract mice, snakes, insects or other creepy crawlers that wood stored outside can attract and bring into your home without you knowing about it until it is too late.
Here are the Cons:
- They can be noisy, all though ours is not.
- They do use electricity, but not as much as other electric base heaters.
- They need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
All in all, it is your choice how you choose to heat your home, but however it is hopefully you will be warm all winter.
You can buy pellets for your stove at most hardware stores, including at Ace Hardware located here in Lumby.