Many homeowners opt for fireplaces and stoves that retain the intense heat of a wood fire, but would like the convenience of a gas fireplace. Now there is a product that meets in the middle. Pellet stoves are highly efficient, don’t require cutting, storing, or hauling firewood, and are eco-friendly.
They burn pellets, which are a manufactured wood product. Pellets are created from all the byproducts that were thrown out or burned at the saw mills. These stoves offer the homeowner the convenience of a consistent burn, even if you aren’t there to feed the fire.
Parts of a Pellet Stove
Unlike a traditional open fireplace, a pellet stove has many different parts. Also, they work together to create consistent heat output and efficient performance.
- Grille – Allows air from the room to be pulled into the stove by a convection fan.
- Intake Vent – Pulls outside air into burn pot.
- Hopper – Stores pellets to be burned.
- Auger – Feeds pellets from hopper to burn pot where they burn.
- Burn Pot – The area that pellets are burned.
- Combustion Fan – Pulls in outdoor air and assists exhaust.
- Exhaust Vent – Takes away combustion gases.
- Heat Exchange Tubes – Sends air heated by the fire into the room.
- Convection Fan – Circulates air through heat-exchange tubes to push into the room.
- Ash pan – Collects the ashes from the burned pellets.
The different parts of the pellet stove serve a specific purpose. Some are to feed the fire and others are to vent the fire. Still, others are to convert the fire’s heat into home heat. If any part of this system breaks down, the pellet stove will fail to work properly. For instance, if the hopper stops working or runs out of pellets to feed the fire the fire will go out and the stove will not produce heat.
Pellet stoves only burn pellets, which some may view as a downside. However, pellets are inexpensive and take out the hassle that comes with traditional wood burning. Wood requires cutting and hauling (or buying) and then storing it until it is properly seasoned. Also, pellets take out the headache and the convenience of the hopper lets you sleep or leave the house without worrying your home will get cold.
The Pellet Stove and Your Chimney
Because the pellet stove burns cleanly, it leaves less residue in your chimney. This creates less ash waste, and the stove itself is considered low maintenance. In addition, the only thing you need to do is keep it clear of combustibles, keep its surfaces clean with a regular dusting, and schedule regular maintenance appointments.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends homeowners keep their home safe and their fireplace efficient by scheduling annual chimney inspections and having it cleaned regularly. Keeping these important appointments is the best way to keep your pellet stove in the best shape possible.