A Comparison Between Wood-Burning Stoves and Pellet Stoves
Because of rising fuel costs, wood-burning stoves and pellet stoves have been growing steadily in popularity. If you are like many other homeowners, you are determined to cut utility costs; and either of these appliances will help. The two types of stoves are very different from one another, which gives you a lot to think about as you decide.
A Few Basics
- Today’s wood stoves are highly efficient appliances and use up to ½ less wood than older versions to produce the same amount of heat. A chimney is required so you can either vent the stove into a masonry chimney or have an insulated stainless steel chimney pipe installed. Wood stoves can’t be any closer than a foot to combustible walls.
- Pellet stoves only burn highly compressed pellets, which are the cleanest burning type of solid fuel available. Wood pellets are made with wood waste, such as sawdust. Other types of pellets are available; some contain corn, for instance. Pellets made with corn attract mice, whereas wood pellets store conveniently in 40-pound bags that don’t attract any animals. The pellets must be protected from moisture, however; once the pellets get wet, they can no longer be used in a pellet stove because they expand and will get jammed in the hopper the pellets are fed through. These appliances can be installed as close as 3 inches to combustible walls. A chimney is not required because pellet stoves can be vented directly to an outside wall.
Cost to Purchase and Install
Pellet stoves cost more than wood stoves. However pellet stoves do not require a chimney, the cost could end up being about the same between the two appliances.
Cost of Fuel
- Fuel for a wood-burning stove costs less than any other type of fuel, especially if you have access to free or inexpensive firewood.
- Pellets are usually purchased in 40-pound bags, and somewhere between 2 and 3 tons of pellets are typically used during one winter.
- Wood-burning stoves are very convenient if your power goes out and there is no other source of heat.
Pellet stoves can be very convenient appliances, since they can be controlled with a remote control or thermostat. The larger the hopper, which holds the pellets, the longer you can enjoy the warmth of the stove without having to do anything. With a large hopper and a slow-burning fire, a pellet stove can burn more than 65 hours, hands-free. You simply pour in the pellets, get the stove started, and nothing else is needed until the pellets run out. If you are prepared for blackouts by keeping a battery-powered energy supply on hand, the need for extra power won’t be a problem.
- The fire in a wood-burning stove is similar to the fire in a fireplace and can create a cozy, even romantic setting.
We can help you with professional installation of your new pellet stove or wood-burning stove, whichever appeals most to you.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110