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An Introduction to Pellet Stoves

Posted on 06 February 2017

A pellet stove combines the charm of a traditional wood burning stove with the latest technology and highest convenience. These stoves can run at an efficiency of up to 95%, meaning when a pellet is burnt it produces very little air pollution or ash, also the majority of the heat generated ends up in the room and not up the chimney. A pellet stove can save you up to £225 a year when replacing from an older gas system, and £990 a year when replacing an old electric system.

Pellet stoves work by automatically feeding pellets from a storage hopper into a burn pot, this creates a constant flame that needs no tending. Here the pellets are incinerated at a high temperature that they create no vent-clogging creosote,  and very little ash or emissions, thus keeping both indoor and outdoor air cleaner. They heat your home much like a furnace while providing an attractive flame to gather around.

A pellet is a small pill made from wood waste, mostly sawdust. They have a low moisture content (5-10%) compared to 20% for seasoned firewood. Some pellets may be made of switchgrass or cornstalks. Pellet stoves create a small fraction of the ash produced by an 'older' wood-burning stove, so cleaning is much less frequent. If used on a daily basis the ashpan should be emptied once a week.

Depending on your home's size and layout, a pellet stove could supplement the current heating system or be used as a sole source. Despite the workhorse reputation, pellet stoves come in a variety of designs to complement any interior style.

The biggest difference between a pellet stove and its main competitor, a woodstove, is that inside the pellet stove is a high-tech device with a circuit board, a thermostat, and fans-all of which work together to heat your space efficiently.

Freestanding pellet stoves have a minimal footprint in a room. They can be placed 1-3 inches from the back wall,  and 6-7 inches from sidewalls. Pellet stoves should be placed a least 36 inches from furniture and draperies due to the heat they generate. Also make sure they are placed out of the main foot-traffic areas,  especially in households with small children.

Almost all pellet stoves require a nearby outlet to run the fans, thermostat, and circuit board. If the stove is your sole heater, consider adding a battery backup incase your electricity goes out. 

Pellet stoves should rest on a non combustible surface, such as stone or ceramic tile, to guard against errant embers. A pad should extend 6 inches beyond the door.

Here at Stovesworld you can purchase a pellet stove made by Docherty. The models available include the Audax 6 (6kw), which is available in both black and ivory, the Audax 8 (8kw) in black and the Audax 10 (10kw) also in black.

 

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