Wood Burning Stove or Pellet Stove? Part 2

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The EPA provides a list (pdf) of certified stoves, by model name, that meet particulate emissions limits and comply with The Clean Air Act. Most wood burning stoves are either 72% or 63% efficient, while most of the pellet models listed have a 78% efficiency. (Since pellet stoves burn so cleanly, there is no requirement for them to get certified. The pellet stoves that are certified are done so voluntarily.)

Today’s wood burning stoves are much safer and efficient than years ago. They come in various sizes to heat one room or a whole house (with an open floor plan). Wood burning stoves are either catalytic (which use a combustor to achieve a long, slow controlled combustion that burns off the smoke that otherwise would leave the chimney as dirty, wasted fuel) and non-catalytic (which recirculate the smoke and burn it). The combustor of the catalytic type needs to be replaced after 2-3 years of normal use.

It’s a good idea to have regular professional inspections to check for the build-up of creosote, which can lead to fires and affect the efficiency of your stove. Wood burning stoves are more expensive to install than pellet stoves.

Tag(s): Energy


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