Burning wood might may seem like a wasteful and old-fashioned mode of heating, but with wood pellets you can turn the old heating style into one that is clean and efficient. Wood pellet stoves have become increasingly popular because they burn much better than regular firewood. Most stoves demand little energy and require about 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. But they also require a large supply of wood pellet fuel to keep your house warm throughout the cold months.
Pellet stoves require a moderate amount of electricity to run their various components, including, fans, controls and pellet feeders. In an average home with normal use, they use up 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month, which costs about $10. Wood pellets burn more efficiently than normal wood because of the consistency of the pellets and the combustion system within the stove, which make them burn hotter. Pellets also have less moisture than wood, so they catch fire more readily.
Pellet stoves are newer appliances and are based around the design of the pellets, which look like rabbit feed. The pellets are a dense composition of sawdust, paper, crop waste and other organic materials such as corn kernels and sunflowers. If you're not sure how many pellets to buy, consider that one ton of pellets equals about 1 1/2 cords of firewood. Usually they are sold in 40-pound bags for a few dollars.
There are a great variety of wood pellet appliances available today, from small to larger-sized heaters. They function mainly as space heaters but can still heat a home if you assist them with any form of circulation to help the heat distribute. The heating needs of a house vary, but generally a stove with 60,000 British Thermal Units can heat a home of 2,000 square feet. You will probably need two to three tons of pellets to heat such a home for the entirety of the cold season.
Because of the efficiencies and higher combustion of wood pellets, they are one of the cleanest methods of solid fuel heating available to residences. They are cheaper to install than other wood stoves and less expensive to operate than many other appliances, including electric resistance heating and propane systems. The drawback of pellet stoves is that they will not function during a power outage, unlike many other heating appliances.
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