A very beneficial trend has taken rise in the past years and it regards ‘green homes’. With the polar ice caps melting and the weather changing significantly, it has become clear we need to take far better care of the surrounding environment than we have done so far. What better or easier way to start than with our very own homes? Turning our houses into energy efficient units requires some changes, but they are not difficult to make. One of them is changing the heating facilities and, in this regards, pellet stoves have found their way into environment loving people’s hearts quicker than any other solution. Here is a guide of everything you need to know in case you want to aid the planet and install a pellet stove in your home.
A pellet stove is a specific kind of stove that uses wood or biomass pellets in order to create heat. It’s mostly used in residential spaces, but it can be used in industrial ones as well. If the burner is constantly fed with fuel, the stove will produce a continuous flame, which needs little to no adjustment at all. The fact that they use the pellets is what makes these stoves achieve an energy efficiency factor of more than 90%.
The miniaturized pellet stove appeared for the first time in the 80s, in Washington. It was derived from the idea of using pine sawdust, in the shape of the Presto-Log, back in the 1930s, at the pine mills in Lewiston, Idaho. Pellet stoves can be either free standing units or pellet stove inserts into already existing stone fireplaces. In modern days, they are being constructed from steel or cast-iron pieces. Stainless steel is used to encase the circuitry and exhaust areas. Some pellet stoves are listed for some other types of fuel, rather than pellets, such as sunflower seeds, wheat, corn, or cherry pits. However, most pellet stove manufacturers recommend you use the special corn and pellet mixture designed for this.
A variation of the pellet stove is the corn stove, which uses whole corn kernels as combustions means, rather than pellets. Another difference between the two is that the corn stove has an added metal stirring rod in the burn pot. It can also come with an ash removal system. As far as energy efficiency goes, they are both great.
You will find this material typically sold in bags weighing 40 pounds, at the price of $3 on average per pound. Many wood pellet stove users recommend beginners to buy it by the ton, because it can be hard to find sometimes and you don’t want to be caught in the middle of the winter without any fuel to burn. An average sized house typically requires 2 or three tons of pellets a year. At the cost of approximately $200 a ton, you will find it really is energy efficient. You should also know that most pellet fuels have some moisture content, which is somewhere between 5% and 10%. Apart from that, certain types have petroleum or non-petroleum lignin in them, because it was used to lubricate the pellets while they were being manufactured. Most of them, however, are additive-free.
Some recommendations from experienced users state that one should always check the quality of the pellets before buying them. In order to do this, you can check the bag they come in for dust and dirt, because these two types of debris form clinkers when in the stove. Reviews show that, if the pellets are high quality ones, the bag they come in should hold less than half a cup of dust at the bottom. That is for a standard, 40 pound bag. You can find pellets at specialized suppliers, local tree nurseries, or stores that sell home and garden products.
Even though they have been highly praised, some debate still remains around whether they are the best heating solution out there. So, in order to help you decide if this really is the best solution for you and your family, here are some pros and cons.
Although, in essence they might seem like the same thing, pellet stoves and wood stoves are actually different in many ways.
According to online reviews, here are the best pellet stoves you can buy:
All these brands offer an enormous range of pellet stoves, which means it will be virtually impossible for you not to find the perfect one. Here are a few things to be on the look-out for when going shopping:
There are many models and designs when it comes to pellet stoves, so it might prove daunting to find one for you. However, once you understand how they work and take into consideration a few basic things, such as the square footage of your home, your budget, and the pellet availability in your area, you’re good to go green for the planet.