Pellet stoves are a modern and convenient alternative to wood-burning stoves. They use wood pellets as a fuel source, so you don’t have to chop and store large quantities of firewood in your home.
All models work with a thermostat that monitors the temperature, and many have digital controls that you can link to a smartphone. This allows you to set the temperature remotely or for a specific time during the day.
Pellet stoves heat a room differently from wood stoves. They use a convection blower to draw air into the furnace, heat it, and blow it out into the room.
If you have ever used a pellet grill or have learned about them, you’ll recognize many of the same features in a pellet stove. They have a series of components that run on electricity, including an auger, a thermostat, or blowers.
The question of how a pellet stove works isn’t difficult to answer. Pellet stoves are more complex than traditional wood stoves, even though they can look very conventional from the outside. However, behind their simple appearance, there’s a well-built electric engine system. These are the main components of pellet stoves:
Pellet stoves work both with electricity and pellets. They have to be plugged into the wall since the auger, blowers, heat sensors, and analog or digital controls need electricity to function.
Pellets are a fuel source that’s easy and convenient to use. You simply load the pellets on the hopper, and the auger takes care of moving them into the firebox once you start the stove. Also, pellets are a more eco-friendly heat source than gas, producing less carbon emissions than wood or coal stoves.
A pellet stove has analog or digital controls that allow you to set the temperature. Some stoves have simple low, medium, or high controls, while other models have more advanced settings that allow you to set the stove to specific temperatures.
Some models allow you to link them to your smartphone, and through an app, you can preset the stove to turn on at a specific time. For example, some people like to set the stove for 6:30 AM, so it heats the house in the morning before waking up.
When learning how pellet stoves work, it’s critical to understand how the various parts interact inside the stove.
When you turn on the stove, the auger will start feeding the pellets into the firebox. On most models, the ignition is automatic, and as soon as the auger starts moving pellets, they start burning in the fire pit.
Near the firepit or right underneath it, there’s usually a thermostat or heat sensor that communicates with the auger. These sensors monitor temperature and tell the auger the rate at which it has to feed pellets to keep a steady temperature. There are never more than a handful of pellets in the firebox.
As the auger moves the pellets into the firebox, the fans start drawing in the outside air. The combustion fan draws in air for combustion and moves out smoke through a vent. The convection fan brings in cold air from the room and expels clean hot air, slowly warming up the room.
If you are considering buying a pellet stove, there are several advantages and disadvantages to consider. Compared with a traditional wood stove, pellet stoves are much more convenient, but some people enjoy the process of starting a fire with wood logs.
Wood pellets might be small, but they burn well and produce a decent amount of heat. A medium-sized pellet stove produces around 40,000-50,000 BTUs per hour, enough to heat a 2000 ft² house or apartment.
Also, wood pellets produce very little ash, making them easy to clean. Most models have an ashtray right underneath the firebox. Using a button or lever on the stove, you can move the ash from the fire pit to the ashtray. Even if you use the stove every day, you’ll most likely have to empty the tray once a week.
Thanks to its analog or digital controls, pellet stoves are very easy to use. You can set the temperature without monitoring the fire and feeding it more wood. Also, wood pellets are very convenient for several reasons. The bags don’t take much space, and you won’t spend a lot of time chopping wood or carrying logs.
Well-maintained pellet stoves produce very little creosote, which is the flammable, sticky substance that causes chimney fires. Also, the heat sensors on most pellet stoves have safety features that turn off the stove in case of overheating.
One slight disadvantage is that pellet stoves need regular maintenance. Of course, you can hire someone to do the maintenance, but if you’re going to do it by yourself, you’ll need to vacuum the fire pit once a week and clean the stove every few months. Also, some models might make noises because of the fans and the auger. On high-end models, the noise should be almost unnoticeable.
Pellet stoves are an excellent way of providing a nice and cozy fire for your home without going through the trouble of starting and monitoring a fire on a wood stove. Consider learning about the different kinds of pellets. There are different kinds at different prices, and some burn a lot more cleanly and efficiently.