Answers to All Your Questions: Pellet Stoves

There are many reasons to own a pellet stove, but if you’ve never owned one, you might have questions. We put our heads together and answered the top 10 most common questions about pellet stoves. Read on!

Q:  What is a pellet stove?
A:  Pellet stoves are similar in appearance to free-standing wood stoves, but they burn pellets. Unlike wood stoves, pellet stoves require electricity to power the pellet auger and motor, and many models have backup battery systems in case of a power outage.

Q:  What are pellets?
A:  Pellets are renewable fuel made from compacted sawdust, wood chips, bark, or agricultural crop waste. They can be purchased in 40 lb. bags at fireplace dealers, nurseries, building supply stores, feed and garden supplies, and some discount merchandisers. In certain areas of the country, pellets can be purchased in bulk.

Q:  Can a pellet stove heat my whole house?
A:  Yes, depending on the size of your home and location of the stove. Before buying a stove, talk to your dealer about stoves appropriate for your home and square footage. Many homeowners zone heat certain areas with a pellet stove, which works in conjunction with their central furnace. Similar to the concept of a hybrid car, the pellet stove does the primary heating with the furnace as a backup – working together to gain efficiencies.

Q:  How can I predict how many bags of pellets I’ll need?
A:  When burned in a Quadra-Fire pellet stove, one bag of pellets can provide up to a full day of steady heat. On average, a winter’s supply of pellets is 100 to 150 bags (2-3 tons), depending on your climate, home size, and lifestyle variations.

Q:  Will a pellet stove help me save money?
A:  Yes, especially if you heat your home with propane or fuel oil. Calculate your approximate savings using this pellet fuel savings calculator.

Q:  Are pellet stoves easy to use?
A:  Yes. Innovative technologies have made pellet stoves very convenient to use. For example, many models have smart, programmable thermostats that adjust heat output and control room temperature.

Q:  Do pellet stoves require maintenance?
A:  Yes, pellet stoves require simple maintenance to keep them running their best. This includes periodically cleaning ash out of the burn chamber and the ash pan, scraping the burn pot, and keeping vital components free of ash. Once a year (or each time a ton of pellets has burned through it), your stove should be inspected.

Q:  How efficient are pellet stoves?
A:  Some pellet stoves are up to 89% efficient! Look for one with technologies that boost performance and efficiency, like Advanced Energy™ and Automatic Combustion Control™.

Q:  Are pellet stoves green, as in environmentally friendly?
A:  Yes. Pellets are a low carbon fuel, so by heating with them, you are contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Pellet stoves also emit extremely low outside air particulates and are a fraction of the cost of other renewable energy systems like solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and wind turbines.

Q:  How much do pellet stoves cost?
A:  The approximate cost for purchasing and having a pellet stove installed is about $3,100 and up. Actual costs will vary by the area of the country where you live, and the stove model you choose.

If you have a question not answered above, your local hearth expert would be happy to help you. Find your nearest Quadra-Fire dealer here. Enjoy the fire!