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Pellet Stoves Offer Cheaper, Eco-Friendly, Home Heating

By: Kevin Taylor

Pellet Stoves Offer Cheaper, Cleaner, Home Heating

High oil and natural gas prices have consumers looking for lower cost alternative heating approaches. Here is one that lowers greenhouse gas emissions and saves money.

Why Pellet Stoves?

Pellet stoves are more efficient than wood stoves, are easier to use and maintain while the fuel cost is less than propane, oil, and natural gas.

Better yet the combustion efficiency can reduce household greenhouse gas emissions by several tonnes making heating by pellet stove an eco-friendly choice. All from renewable fuel sources.

Loading pellets into a hopper that can provide heat for 24 to 72 hours or more depending on the hopper size and heat output desired makes it much easier to use than a wood stove. The fact that many pellet stoves have automatic starters and thermostats to regulate heat makes them a real winner as a viable heating alternative.

The first efficiency is in the pellet fuel itself. Pellets can be made from waste products from sawmills and other wood processing facilities, biomass sources such as grasses, corn, and nut shells. The compressed pellets store easily. They usually come in 40 lb bags and take less space to store than wood of the same energy output.

The main efficiency is through the steady controlled burn of fuel at high temperatures and the use of convection heat through a heat exchanger rather than the radiant heat you get from a wood stove. This also means that a pellet stove exterior is much cooler and therefore safer if you have small children.

The small amount of ash generated by the efficient combustion means you only have to clean the ash once a week under continuous use for most stoves.

Due to dependence on electricity for fans to operate, some pellet stoves also have back-up battery power to ensure the burn of pellets can be completed if the power is disrupted.

Where to Buy Pellet Stoves?

You best bet is to first try your local fireplace and wood stove dealers to see what brands they carry and, most importantly, where a low cost quality supply of pellets can be found.

You can save hundreds of dollars buying online but you need to ensure the service and support of the manufacturer is included and supported. Look for "authorized dealer" to ensure the manufacturer will uphold the warranty.

How Much to Pay?

Pellet stove prices range from about $1800 to $2800 for home heating. Two main factors are the energy in BTU's and the size of the hopper which affects how often you need to reload pellets. Other features to look for are automatic start, efficiency, easy access to ash pan and serviceable parts.

You will need to assess the area of your home or cottage you want to heat and get a recommendation from the manufacturer or their representative on the model with right BTU output for your needs.

Helpful information regarding pellet stoves can be found at: http://www.top-pellet-stoves.com.

Kevin Taylor is a freelance writer based in Toronto Canada. More information at http://top-pellet-stoves.com/

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