Pellet Stoves: The Rundown Pt3
If you are looking for the heating system that produces the least amount of pollution, look no further than a pellet stove or pellet fireplace insert. These innovative appliances are as environmentally friendly as a heating appliance can be, and they produce a very dry and comfortable radiant heat. Pellet stoves are undoubtedly the clear choice for anyone who is passionate about protecting the environment.
Burning wood is an eco-friendly choice for several reasons. First, wood-burning is carbon neutral, meaning that it doesn’t release any more carbon into the atmosphere than if the wood decayed naturally in the forest. Second, wood is a renewable and sustainable resource. But when it comes to using a pellet stove, the benefits are even greater because the pellets are made with wood waste, such as sawdust. This efficient fuel is actually made with the wood products that would otherwise be discarded.
While in the U.S. today there is an aggressive program of tree-planting required when trees are harvested, many are understandably concerned about deforestation. Pellets make zero contribution to deforestation because they are made with wood waste.
There is even more about pellets that make them great, as far as environmental friendliness. Pellets are highly compressed wood milling byproducts, and they have very low moisture content. The BTU efficiency is higher than with regular firewood or any other type of solid fuel. For example, one study showed that, per cubic foot of fuel, wood burned in wood stoves provides about 77% fewer BTUs than pellets. The small wood pellets, which usually measure between 1” to 1 ½”, produce greater heat output and have lower ash content than any other type of fuel used in fireplaces or stoves.
Pellet stoves are the most energy efficient type of appliance you can buy. If you burn wood in a traditional fireplace, the efficiency rating ranges from (negative) -10% to 30%, which means, at best, 70% of the usable heat goes up the chimney. Burning wood in a wood stove or a well-fitted fireplace insert that is EPA-certified improves the efficiency rating to between 35% and about 70% and can result in 70% less emissions of particulate matter. These appliances can also reduce the amount of firewood you need by 30%, as compared with burning in a traditional fireplace.
Pellet stoves are in a class by themselves, with an average energy efficiency rating of 83%. EPA-certified pellet stoves are unrestricted appliances; in other words, they are deemed smokeless because of the small amount of emissions they produce. Compare that to traditional fireplaces that produce 40 grams of wood smoke every hour. Modern, efficient fireplace inserts and wood-burning stoves produce about 7.5 grams of smoke every hour.
Using a pellet stove is also safer because no creosote is produced. With all other wood-burning appliances, highly flammable creosote deposits on the flue lining increase the possibility of a hazardous chimney fire that can spread to a house fire.
A small amount of electricity is required to operate a pellet stove because of the fans that are part of the innovative design of the appliance, but the cost is estimated at only about $10 per month. Back-up power sources can be used in the event of a blackout.
Pellet stoves truly are ideal for anyone who is environmentally conscious. Your energy bills and carbon footprint can be reduced because a pellet stove produces all the heat needed in winter for many homes. Warm your home in the winter with the least amount of environmental impact possible by installing a pellet stove.