Sometimes, the idea of a roaring fire in the living room feels too good to be true. Fireplaces in many homes are more decorative than functional, and residents will instead turn to the thermostat to crank up the heat. With pellet stoves, though, you can have the comfort of a fire without the hassle. Pellet stoves are small furnaces that can supplement your current heating system or, in smaller homes, replace it entirely. Calling an HVAC contractor to discuss a pellet stove installation in your home can be the first step in creating a cozy space in your home around which everyone will want to gather this winter.
How Pellet Stoves Work
Pellet stoves are small, self-contained heating units. A hopper stores the pellets to be burned, which are fed to the burn pot through an auger. Quickly feeding the pot a large number of pellets will result in higher heat, while slowly adding a few at a time produces less heat. The pellets are ignited in the burn pot, and a nearby grille and intake vent pull air from the outside into the pot to be heated. The warmed air is pushed through heat exchange tubes by a convection fan, which circulates the air through the tubes and out of the stove. An exhaust vent removes gasses resulting from the combustion process, while an ash pan collects waste from burned pellets.
Pellet stoves are relatively easy to maintain. They create a small amount of waste compared to wood-burning stoves or fireplaces and should be cleaned out once per week if used daily. The burn pot should also be cleaned out regularly to remove combustion residue and unburned pellets. At the beginning of the heating season, pellet stove owners must clean and inspect the vents. During the season, pellets — which are typically made of wood waste, such as sawdust — are widely available at home centers and hardware or grocery stores.
Advantages of a Pellet Stove Installation
For environmentally-conscious homeowners, pellet stoves are an excellent choice. The pellets used as fuel are made of wood byproducts, such as sawdust. This means that not only are they a renewable resource, but they can also be created without cutting down more trees than are necessary for current needs. Many pellet stoves can also burn corn kernels and other natural resources, helping reduce the amount of waste put in landfills. Pellet stoves are able to generate a large amount of heat from these small fuel sources, making them highly energy efficient. They also emit fewer greenhouse gasses than other heaters.
Though pellet stoves and wood-burning heaters both use renewable resources, pellet stoves have a smaller environmental impact than wood-burning heaters. Wood emits large amounts of air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter, which can damage air quality. Fireplaces may not be necessary for all sizes of homes, and appliances that are too large for the space they are in can result in wasted fuel and extra pollution. A pellet stove, meanwhile, has higher combustion and heating efficiency, meaning they produce less air pollution. Pellets are often consumed almost entirely, and stoves, therefore, create a minimal amount of waste as well.
Pellet Stoves Save You Money
Using a pellet stove in your home can be a cost-saving measure. Most stoves cost around $3,500 after installation. Despite the steep initial cost, once a furnace is installed, it can help save money over time. Pellets typically cost just a few dollars per bag, and owners who monitor their heat use can make one bag go a long way. The average cost to heat a home using its pellet stove conservatively, meaning that the stove is only used when necessary, would be around $267 per month. With rising and unpredictable oil costs, a pellet stove installation can be a more effective way to manage your heating and ensure that you are not spending more than your budget will allow to keep your home warm.
Fitting a Pellet Stove Into Your Home
Pellet stoves can fit into a wide range of home styles. They can be small enough to heat an apartment and large enough to warm up a big dining room, depending on the size of the stove selected and the space in which it is installed. Many stoves are freestanding, allowing owners to position them in the ideal location within their home. Some models take the form of fireplace inserts, transforming a purely decorative feature of the home into a functional one again. Fireplace inserts can lend some old-fashioned charm to your home while heating it and saving floor space. No matter the type, pellet stoves are available in modern and classic styles to help ensure that they will fit in with your decor no matter what.
Why to Choose a Pellet Stove Installation
A pellet stove installation is ideal for those who want more control over the cost of their heat this winter. They allow you to monitor the number of pellets used each time the stove is turned on. Because the cost of pellets remains consistent, unlike oil, you can be sure that the cost of operating the stove will never surprise you. Pellet stoves are also an excellent choice for those who are environmentally conscious, as they emit fewer gasses and use wood waste as fuel.
Finally, pellet stoves can be a versatile heating option. They can be used to supplement an existing heating system in rooms that are particularly cold and could use a burst of heat, but they can also heat an entire house if additional pipe installation is completed. They can be used for a range of purposes and in any home, making them a worthwhile option for any homeowner.
Hiring an HVAC Contractor
Speak to an HVAC contractor for more information about pellet stoves and to schedule a free estimate for your pellet stove installation. Presidential Heating & Air has more than 30 years of experience in repairing and installing a wide range of pellet stoves. The company’s stoves are available in cast iron or steel, with a variety of designs, styles, and finishes for each one. Presidential Heating & Air serves homes in the Maryland area. In addition to its pellet stove installation work, the company provides services related to air conditioning, duct work, furnaces, refrigeration, and more.