Wood Burning Stove or Pellet Stove?

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The changing colors and falling of the autumn leaves reminds us that cooler temperatures will be upon us soon, and it’ll be a perfect time to curl up in front of a warm wood-burning or pellet stove with a good book. In our two part series, we will compare the two stove types which look nearly the same, but have some notable differences.

The Pellet Stove


* fuel (pellets) is made from waste materials like sawdust and ground wood chips, or nut hulls, or shelled corn and fruit pits, which diverts that waste from landfills. Storage of pellets takes up much less space than wood requires. Pellets burn very efficiently, with high heat out-put and low emissions. Pellets are more readily available than just 5 years ago.

* if you like the look of a fire, you can find some with larger viewing glass and a good flame pattern.

* automatic ignition and remote thermostatic control ease the operation of the stove.

* available as both free-standing stoves or as fireplace inserts.

* pellet stoves are less expensive to install than wood burning stoves.


* they are relatively complex, with many moving parts and motors that require regular maintenance (you might want to get a service contract).

* more expensive high-grade, low-ash pellets are recommended for top-fed (where the pellets go in) models, but a top-fed stove has lesser chance of fire burning back into the hopper.

* bottom-fed stoves require lower grade pellets (less expensive), since there is an ash pan that collects the waste (which needs to be emptied on a regular basis).

* you need electricity to run stoves.

Tune in tomorrow for our post about wood burning stoves.

Tag(s): Energy, Green Furnishings, Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Global Warming


One Response to “Wood Burning Stove or Pellet Stove?”

  1. Kevin on January 17th, 2008 1:56 pm

    “Pellets are more readily available than just 5 years ago.”

    Pellet availability has been “feast or famine” the last few years. Generally more suppliers are coming on line but when the price of oil shoots up and there is a surge in pellet stove sales there is no way for supply to react.

    Pellet supply can also very locally to a great extent so asking you local pellet stove supplier where you can buy pellets and then checking those sources before buying a stove will prevent you from getting a surprise.

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