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Pellet Stoves: Convenient and Efficient


A wood-burning fireplace can be an effective heat source, but another type of heating appliance can provide the same ambiance while adding convenience and efficiency: pellet stoves.

Pellet fuel appliances burn compacted pellets made from wood or other organic materials. Their efficiency makes them the cleanest solid-fuel heating appliance, according to the Department of Energy.

They are safer than wood-burning stoves because the units stay relatively cool to the touch, reducing the risk of burns. Their ability to burn cleanly also means there is little creosote buildup in chimneys, reducing the risk of chimney fires.

Some stoves run on thermostats to regulate the flow of pellets and temperature while others are manual.

Pellet stoves are available as freestanding stoves or fireplace inserts, and they have heating capacities of 8,000–90,000 Btu per hour. Pellet stove inserts fit into existing fireplaces, and the conversion can be reverted back to a wood-burning fireplace in an emergency.

They cost about $1,700–$3,000 but can be less expensive to install than a conventional wood-burning appliance because pellet stoves don’t require an expensive chimney or flue.

Although pellet stoves can be convenient and efficient to operate, they also present several drawbacks. The bagged pellets can be heavy and difficult to lift. Also, because pellet stove dispensers and fans operate using electricity, they don’t work when the power is out.

And pellet stoves are more complex than wood-burning appliances, making repairs more expensive and maintenance more involved: Homeowners should clean them weekly and hire a professional to clean them every year.


Posted: 2/2/2022 3:12:33 PM
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