Pellet Stoves: A Guide

image of a burning jotul stove

What is a pellet stove?

This type of stove creates a source of heat through burning compressed wood or biomass pellets. A pellet stove is used in residential and industrial spaces.

If you’re wondering, ‘how does a pellet stove work?’, it operates by steadily feeding fuel from a storage container (also known as a ‘hopper’) into the burn pot area. This, in turn, produces a constant flame that requires little to no physical adjustments.

 

What are the benefits of using a pellet stove?

There are a number of different benefits for using a pellet stove in your home. The first being that most pellet stoves are self-igniting. They also cycle themselves on and off under thermostatic control. Here are some further benefits of using a pellet stove:

  • Pellets burn very cleanly

A properly cleaned and well-maintained pellet stove should not create creosote – the black, sticky, flammable and oily residue found on the interior surface of a chimney flue. This chemical substance reduces draft within the chimney and increases the likelihood of chimney fires. Instead, pellets burn cleanly and create a layer of fine ash. Depending on the grade of pellet fuel, this affects ash output and performance differently.

  • Can also burn fuels such as grain, corn, seeds or wood chips

The fuel for burning inside a pellet stove is vast, which means that you can burn pelletised wood as well as grain, corn, seeds or wood chips. Depending on the pellet stove you have, the other fuels may need to be mixed with wood pellets.

  • Doesn’t require a chimney, it has a specially sealed exhaust pipe

Another benefit of pellet stoves is that, unlike wood-burning stoves which require a chimney, pellet stoves can operate on a sealed exhaust pipe. This exhaust pipe helps prevent gases from escaping into the room or living space due to the air pressure that is produced by the combustion blower in the stove.

  • Don’t necessarily require a vertical rise to vent

As pellet stoves have a forced exhaust system, this means that they don’t require or rely on a vertical rise in order to vent. However, to prevent leakage in the case of a power outage, it is recommended to have a vertical run that can induce some draft. Similarly to other stoves, pellet stoves can be vented horizontally through an outside-facing wall or connected to an approved chimney with the use of an adaptor.

  • Can be used in a mobile home

Unlike the traditional wood-burning stoves, pellet stoves are approved to be used in mobile homes.

 

What does a pellet stove look like and how has it changed?

Pellet stoves have been around since at least the early 20th Century. The pellet stove has changed in its appearance over the years from a simple, boxy design to the modern heating appliance we recognise today.

Typically, pellet stoves are free-standing units, however, they can also be fireplace inserts that are vented into an existing chimney.

 

How much space do you need around a pellet stove?

The venting requirements for pellet stoves mean that the vent pipe must be a minimum of 3 inches away from combustible materials. This will affect the placement of your pellet stove as it is best not to vent a pellet stove into covered walkways or above a driveway or sidewalk.

 

Contact Burning Inspirations

Looking for a traditional or contemporary fireplace to install in your home? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team here at Burning Inspiration. Call us today on 01908 507 027, alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form, and we’ll be in touch.

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