The Benefits of a Pellet Stove
Pellet stoves are usually small, and the bags of pellets are about the size of a bag of mulch, making them easy to store. They’re also easy to operate and run and only require loading pellets then igniting the flame. Depending on what size hopper your stove has, it may only need to be filled once a day which makes for a convenient way of heating your home.
The fire burns in a heat box inside the unit, with a very small amount of smoke, which lessens the smell in your home and will prevent the outside of the unit from heating up. With a pellet stove, there’s virtually no external exhaust heat over 400 degrees Fahrenheit while it’s operating. You can place a pellet stove as close as two inches away from the wall, and it will pose no fire hazard to the area. It’s the ideal heating choice for households with children and pets.
Wood Pellets, Cost to Operate a Pellet Stove
Pellets create much less ash than firewood, giving off less creosote which is a flammable byproduct of combustion that can build up and cause chimney fires. Wood pellets are made from recycled materials and are heavily compressed to ensure that the moisture content is greatly reduced. Dry fuel creates more heat, causing the pellets to burn hotter and cleaner, emitting fewer pollutants than traditional fireplaces. The pellets also are inexpensive, and you can be purchased in small quantities as needed, versus the upfront costs of purchasing a bundles of wood.
One of the biggest advantages of pellet stoves is the fuel cost. You may purchase 40 pounds of wood pellets for around $5, which provides enough heat for about two days on a low setting. As the typical monthly home heating bill for fuel-heated homes is around $250 or more for the winter months, you’ll be spending $75-$100 a month to heat your home with pelletized wood fuel in the winter. Pellet stoves, just as any other household appliance, do require some maintenance to ensure the overall lifespan of the unit.
Pellet Stove Homeowner Maintenance
To get the most out of your pellet stove you must properly maintain it. We will briefly tell you how to execute pellet stove maintenance and operation in this short blog post.
Before each heating season, have a qualified chimney professional inspect and clean your pellet stove’s flue. Burning quality pellets that are clean and dry is highly recommended as wet pellets will start to clog the auger and can cause your stove to eventually stop working. You the homeowner should clean and vacuum out the main burn chamber areas where all the fly ash lands and collects. You should do that about every two weeks, and empty the ash drawer.
The venting system keeps the proper airflow so that your pellet stove burns fuel efficiently. Servicing your pellet stove every year to have the pipes, venting system and ash traps cleaned and inspected by a professional is very important. Burning pellets will still create soot build up in the pipes over time, and if not cleaned, the soot could very well create a chimney fires.
Midtown Chimney Sweeps are Trained to Maintain Pellet Stoves at the Annual Cleaning
Midtown Chimney Sweeps recommends the annual cleaning of all firepalces, chimneys and vents. Pellet stoves require annual maintenance after every two tons of pellets are burned. Annually we will arrive and do the following pellet stove maintenance and operation list, typically:
- Inspect the hopper and auger plate
- Check pressure and latch switches
- Clean ash from exhaust pipes
- Lubricate and clean convection and combustion motors
- Inspect electrical wiring, heat switches and vacuum sensors
- Clean fire chamber including the burn pot, ignition assembly, fire walls, draft chambers, exhaust ports and heat exchangers
- Test electrical sensors and ignitor
- Clean glass doors and start up stove to make sure all is working correctly
Pellet Stove Emissions
Another benefit to having a pellet stove is that they are exempt from No Burn days. No Burn days or Action Days in Colorado are voluntary pollution prevention measures, which may vary by season, and public health recommendations. During the winter ‘high pollution day’ season which is October 31st to March 31st, this triggers mandatory restrictions that limit burning inside the home to only approved devices such as EPA Phase II certified fireplace inserts or stoves.