Wood Pellet Heaters and Stoves
Pellet fuel appliances burn small pellets that are made of compacted sawdust, wood chips and other organic materials. Pellet heaters produce very little air pollution and are considered the cleanest of solid fuel-burning heating appliances. They boast combustion efficiencies as much as 85% and are exempt from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) smoke-emission testing requirements. You'll also find that some stoves have the ability to burn corn kernels, nutshells and more (we refer to these as multi-fuel). Since these pellets come in large bags and are easier to store than cords of wood they are very convenient to operate. They also have higher combustion that regular wood burning stoved and traditional fireplaces.
Pellet stoves are available as both freestanding stoves and fireplace inserts. So you can generally find an application that best suits your needs. Freestanding pellet stoves typically heat single rooms very well, but require proper air flow to force the warm air throughout adjacent rooms. Pellet stoves also include a handy fuel hopper (capacity range of 30 to 150 pounds or so) which is used to store pellets away until they're needed for burning. Hoppers will typically house enough fuel to stay burning for a full day or longer. The rate in which pellets are fed into the stove dictates the heat output. The more advanced pellet stove models have a small computer and thermostat to govern the feed rate. Last, but not least, since pellet appliances usually require refueling only once a day, and since the fuel is bagged, you don't have to store, carry and load heavy logs. You'll also find that most pellet appliance exteriors, except the ones with glass doors, stay relatively cool while in operation, reducing the risk of accidental burns.
Although pellet heaters are typically in par with the price of wood burning stoves, they are often a little cheaper to install when you factor in installation parts and labor. The cost of fuel is generally cheaper too when you compare pellets versus cords of wood. So all-in-all wood burning pellet heaters are environmentally friendly, easy to maintain and operate and can solve just about any home heating problem.