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Wood-Pellet Stoves: Efficient Heat

| Sunday January 27th, 2008 | 11 Comments

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The 1980′s witnessed the inception of wood-pellet stoves but the benefits and efficiency of this innovative product, has not showed its face until recently. A pellet stove is a small electric unit that burns small pieces of recycled and compacted sawdust pellets. The advantages to wood pellet stoves are many, for one, they are extremely efficient, use inexpensive fuel and produce very little waste.
The fuel are the tightly compressed pieces of sawdust which are released into the stoves through some complicated machinery which adds new pellets to the fire when more fuel is needed. All that is required of the user is dumping pellets into the hopper when it is empty. The mechanical auger transfers the pellets into the fire as needed.


Wood-pellet stoves average efficiency is 80-85 percent. They heat far more efficiently than large pricey gas heaters. This efficiency is born through a negative pressure system that propels hot air outward. The sawdust pellet fuel burn so completely that hardly any smoke is released reducing the need for large chimneys for smoke release out of the home. These wood pellet stoves only need a small pipe for smoke exhaust reducing the cost of the unit from stove to the outdoors altogether.
The waste efficiency is also significantly better than wood burning stoves in particular, in fact, an entire 40-pound bag of pellets produces less than a cup of ashes. This allows users to use the stove for months without having to remove the ashes.
The pellets come from the waste produced in lumberyards and wood mills. The waste, in the form of sawdust is compressed at very high temperatures without the use of chemicals or glue to hold the pellets together. Cost is also a nice factor when considering the advantages of pellet stoves. A 40-pound bag of pellets sells for around five dollars and can be even less in bulk purchases.
Wood-pellet are a truly sound alternative to the gas or electric heating systems. These stoves are economical and can produce enough heat to warm an entire home. With skyrocketing oil prices the heating costs have soared accordingly. The Department of Energy reports %27-41 increases across the nation in heating costs this winter for those who heat with oil and natural gas. This spike in oil costs has provided many people with the push to begin looking for alternative heating sources.
A natural choice is wood-pellet stoves for supplemental or even primary heat. Pellet stoves have a similar appearance to wood stoves and fireplace inserts but that is all they have in common. The interior of the units are very sophisticated combustion appliances.


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  • http://polizeros.com Bob Morris

    People who own one tell me they do have a couple of drawbacks. 1) they need extensive and regular cleaning. 2) they need electricity to run (so no help in a blackout.)

  • Anonymous

    Climate friendly — wood is a bio fuel, with CO2 originating in the atmosphere. The sawdust would eventually decompose to CO2 or methane in any case.

  • http://www.sierraproductsinc.net Gabe Cote

    The EasyFire Pellet Stoves from Sierra Products, Inc. http://www.sierraproductsinc.net are battery back-up with standard 12 Volt DC battery that is kept charged. The stove will run for three days on the 12V Battery. When the AC power is restored the EasyFire stove will automatically recharge the battery.

  • Draakan

    Well to be completely frank if you look at burning wood as climate friendly because it was waste CO2 that was going to end there anyway, oil is the same just stored differently and for a long period of time.

  • ASteve

    @Draakan: The difference is the cumulative effect of small amounts of CO2 being stored away over the course of millions of years, then being released almost immediately (the industrial revolution, and accompanying fossil fuel use, didn’t happen in earnest until little over 100 years ago). The cumulative effect is devestating.

  • Anonymous

    CO2=Global Warming is bullshit :) trees and plants would grow faster if it was 4 times higher than now(at around 1200ppm). Thus more trees to burn in pellet-stoves. And who cares if there are any humans around then anyway, the world didn’t care 130000 years ago when there was only about 2000-3000 at some estimates us here walking.

  • Kin

    lol. Walter that’s genius. i’ve had a rabbit before, I wish they were.

  • bill

    can i buy a machine to make the pellets i have lots of sawdust

  • http://www.gina-mariecheeseman.com Gina-Marie Cheeseman

    If you already have a wood stove, the freestanding variety, you can add a basket to it and burn the wood pellets in it. In the San Joaquin Valley of California where I live there are days when you can’t burn wood in the winter because of pollution, so it would make sense to use the wood pellets on those days.

  • http://www.lifeunplugged.net OffGrid

    I have been hearing more and more about wood pellet shortages. Has anyone run into problems with this?

  • Mbugua Esther

    would like to buy. pse advice on price and shipping

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