Pellet Stoves — Fireplace Inserts
Pellet-burning stoves or fireplace inserts are simpler to operate and more convenient than other wood-burning appliances. In fact, they are almost as easy to use as gas, oil, or electric heaters. These stoves and inserts burn wood pellets—compressed wood which resembles rabbit food.
Contemporary Fireplace Inserts and Pellet Stoves
Pellet stoves or pellet fireplace inserts rely on sophisticated computers or circuit boards to determine how much pellet fuel should be burned. Most models have at least two burn settings; most of them have a range from one to five. Some pellet stoves or pellet fireplaces inserts use thermostats to control the fire. They also use a forced-air system to distribute heat. Depending on the model, they may furnish between 10,000 and 45,000 Btu (British Thermal Units) per hour.
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Pellet Stoves Venting and Efficiency
Because these appliances burn wood so efficiently, they do not typically need a standard chimney. Rather, they exhaust fumes through a small hole in the wall to the outdoors. This pipe is called Pellet Vent or Class L chimney, and consists of a stainless steel interior and an aluminum or galvanized exterior. Pellet stoves and pellet stove inserts can also be vented up through existing masonry and prefab (class A) chimneys, but the chimney typically must be relined with a smaller size of stainless steel single wall pipe.
Unlike other wood-burning appliances, pellet stoves and inserts rely on mechanical air-supply systems (usually a forced-draft or induced-draft system) to vent air from the home.
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Pellet stoves produce virtually no smoke, and produce fewer odors than other wood-burning appliances. Moreover, the exteriors of these appliances are not used for radiating heat and stay relatively cool, preventing you from burning yourself if you accidentally touch the stove and keeping your clearances down to a minimal.
Pellet Stoves Installation
When installing a pellet stove or fireplace insert, make sure you have the right sized wood pellet stove or insert for the space that you are heating. Too large of stove means that you will not be burning it as hot as it’s designed to be burned, creating inefficient burns as well as wasted fuel. Determine the proper size wood pellet stove for your space by figuring out the square footage of your home. For example, a 2000 square foot home can be heated by a stove that is rated at 60,000 BTU’s. If your home is 1300 square feet, a wood pellet stove rate around 42,000 BTU’s will work well. Most quality pellet stove and pellet stove inserts recommend that the stove or insert is professionally installed. Placement and piping requirements are important when it comes to windows or doors that are operational, as well as floor protection.