Wood pellet stoves have many environmental and economic advantages over wood burning stoves or fireplaces. Pellet stoves are different from the traditional wood burning stove that most people tend to think about when considering fireplaces. The pellet stove doesn't offer the snap-crackle-pop that people like about fireplaces. Wood pellet stoves burn small, wood pellets made out of compressed saw dust and wood chips. The pellet stove works by burning wood pellets at a high heat rate then pumps out the heat with forced air fans that are located inside the pellet stove itself.
Environmental Advantages of Using a Wood Pellet Stove
Pellet stoves offer many advantages over fireplaces or just using electric or gas heat. First of all, they put out a great source of consistent heat. Because the pellet stove You can use pellet stoves during a burn ban. Pellet stoves burn clean enough smoke that you can burn them during a stage one burn ban in many places. Burn bans usually happen when air stagnation is high which happens a lot during the cold months. People using wood burning stoves with another source of heat in their home have to turn off the fireplace, however pellet stoves are fine to use.
Wood pellets burn clean. Burning wood pellets as your source of fuel and heat does not put out a lot of ash. You don't have to empty the ash bin very often (maybe once per week if you burn 24 hours per day). Wood pellets are also additive-free, an environmental advantage because they do not emit harmful substances when burning. The government is rewarding people who are converting from gas or other wood burning fireplaces by offering a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of $1500. If you install a pellet stove you can take the tax credit.
You can also use your cooled ashes as fertilizer for your flowers and garden. This makes burning wood pellets economically and environmentally advantageous because you can reuse the ash. Using a pellet stove goes along great with the reduce, reuse, recycle idea. You should always shop around for the best pellets for your situation. Some people swear by one brand of pellets, but premium does not always mean that they will burn ideally for you. Make sure to do the math and figure out how much money it's going to cost you to burn pellets then buy from the store with the best price. Usually buying in bulk (by the ton) will land you the best deal on wood pellets. Some pellet stove consumers like to make their own wood pellets. There are also wood pellet stoves like that burn corn as fuel. The US Stove Company is one company that makes corn/pellet stoves that also have the capacity to burn soybeans and other stuff. These environmentally sound pellet stoves are resourceful when it comes to fuel sources.
Pellet stoves use electricity instead of gas, so in the event of an electrical outage you would lose your heat source assuming that the pellet stove is your only source of heat. It is generally less expensive to use electricity over gas. However, it is a concern if you are using a pellet stove as your primary source of heat because if the electricity goes out then you lose your heat. For this reason, it may be prudent to have a generator as a back up in case of a storm or other cause for losing electricity. Pellet stoves have many advantages over wood burning fireplaces. Pellet stoves put out a great amount of heat and are good alternatives to fireplaces.
Even though wood pellet stoves are environmentally better than fireplaces you still have to take a few steps to maintain them, especially winter maintenance like chimney cleaning. Check it each burning season for gasket seal leaks around the door and ash bin door. A great purchase along with the pellet stove is an ash vacuum so that you keep it nice and clean. There are ash vacuums for pellet stoves that can suck out the hot ashes and contain it. These vacuums are special because you can use them on hot ash and they catch the smallest amount of dust so cleaning is not a mess. When you have to wait for your pellet stove to completely cool down to empty the ashes then the heating cycle is longer. You can use the ash vacuums to clean out your outside fire pit and BBQ, too. This makes cleaning the pellet stove even easier plus the better maintenance will help your pellet stove last longer. Keeping your wood pellet stove clean and well maintained will have it warming up you and yours for years. The trick is good maintenance, as it is with many things. Pellet stoves are great for the winter.