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Pellet Stoves

Heating your home with a pellet stove is convenient, neat, and safe. These stoves are simpler to operate than other wood burning appliances because they burn wood scraps that have been compressed into pellets that resemble rabbit food. Some models burn pellets made from shelled corn or hulled wheat. Pellet stoves rely on sophisticated computers and circuit boards to determine how much fuel is needed. Most units have at least two heat settings; some control the temperature with thermostats. These stoves burn so efficiently that they often do not need chimneys; the fumes are exhausted outdoors through a small hole in the wall.

If you are thinking of installing a pellet stove in your house, consider the following:

  • The stove will need to be refueled between once a day and twice a week. The pellets are simply poured into a hopper where an auger transfers the pellets to the fire chamber. These stoves produce virtually no smoke or odor.
  • The inexpensive bags of pellets are clean and easy to store. The stoves hold between 35 and 130 pounds of pellets. These pellets can still be difficult to find in some parts of the country, so check on availability before buying one of these stoves.
  • Pellet stoves rely on several internal electric fans in order to operate, so they will not produce heat if the power goes out. If operation without power is a requirement, look for models that include a back up battery for this reason.
  • Unlike a traditional wood stove, pellet stoves use a forced air system to distribute heat. Because the stove exteriors are not used for radiating heat, they stay fairly cool. This makes them safer than other types of wood burning stoves.

Pellet stoves cannot be installed in all types of housing. Check your local building codes and make sure to follow all directions when using them.

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