Are you shopping for ways to lower energy costs? A pellet stove might the solution.   We shared about these stoves in a recent post, but here is a little more detailed information to help you decide if these stoves are right for you.

Energy Savings:   Certified by the EPA, they can be a lone heating source, or a complement. Several states offer tax rebates, and some states, like New York, won’t charge tax for the new unit. Cost:   Expect to pay $1000 to $5000 for the stove, plus $300 for a vent pipe or chimney liner. Unless you’re comfortable with doing your own installation, add $250 to $1000 in labor. Since the fans run on electricity, it’s wise to invest in a battery backup, which costs about $300.

It costs less than oil or electricity, but natural gas is less expensive. However, if you’re already supplementing with a fireplace, switching to wood pellets will save money.

Safety:   The following tips are important for safe operation.
  • Freestanding stoves must sit at least 1-3 inches away from the back wall and 6-7 inches from sidewalls. Furniture should be 36 inches away.
  • The exhaust vents must be tightly sealed to keep waste gases from polluting the home.
  • The stove needs a noncombustible surface, like a stone insert. The pad needs to be at least 6 inches larger than the unit.

How it Works

 Your stove’s many parts work together efficiently to provide the heat you need.

  • Heat Exchange Tubes -  Sends heat into the room
  • Hopper -  Stores pellets until they’re fed into the fire
  • Convection Fan -  Drives the warm air through the heat exchange tubes, and into the room
  • Burn Pot -  Where pellets are burned
  • Augur -  Feeds pellets into the fire
  • Ash Pan -  Collects ash
  • Grille -  Allows air from the outside to feed the fire
  • Intake Vent -  Pulls the air into the burn chamber
  • Exhaust Vent -  Removes waste gases
  • Combustion Fan -  Draws in air and sends smoke through exhaust vent
Maintenance:  When burning high-quality pellets, the stove should be cleaned about once a week. Remember to scrape the burn pot of residue. At the beginning of the season, vent pipes should be cleaned and examined for damage. As a home improvement contractor specializing in green building products and practices, we're glad to pass along tips to help you save energy.  If you have questions about other changes you can make in your home to increase your energy efficiency and contribute to protecting the environment, give us a call.