Using A Pellet Stove For Supplemental Heating: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on: 13 January 2016

If you are looking to reduce your fuel bills, installing a pellet stove for supplemental heating can be a good choice. In fact, on days when it is not too cold, you can probably even get by with using just the pellet stove. As you begin the process of choosing a pellet stove and having it installed, you might have the following questions:

Where should the pellet stove be placed?

Usually, you will want to have the pellet stove installed in the part of the home where you spend the most time. This way, its heat will be most concentrated in this area. Many homeowners choose to have their pellet stoves in their living rooms, though you may wish to have it in your bedroom so you can stay toasty warm at night. Note that the stove must be placed in an area where it can easily be ventilated to the outdoors through a wall or ceiling. It will also need to be near an electrical outlet, since the ignition and air-distributing fans are powered by electricity.

What is the best way to obtain and store pellets?

Wood pellets are sold by many home improvement and big box stores. They come in pre-packed bags. HVAC professionals who install pellet stoves may also sell them directly. To ensure you do not get caught without pellets, it is best to buy them in large quantities. You can store them in a basement or crawl space inside plastic totes to ensure they don't absorb moisture. Talk to pellet suppliers in your area and see if any are willing to automatically set aside pellets for you at certain intervals (such as on the first of every month) so you don't arrive ready to pick them up and then find that they're sold out.

What maintenance do pellet stoves require?

A pellet stove does need to be properly cleaned and maintained in order to keep functioning properly. About 1–2 times per week, you'll need to remove and empty the ash drawer. Every couple of weeks, you will want to turn the stove off and vacuum it out. The manufacturer's instructions will tell you how often to wipe off the heat exchanger. Additionally, about once per year, you will want to have an HVAC tech out to inspect your pellet stove and replace any parts that are showing wear. They will also check your vent system to ensure no harmful fumes are making their way into your home.

Using a pellet stove can take some time to get used to, since you will have to refill the pellet feeder and learn to adjust the air flow to meet your needs. Once you adapt to it, however, you will enjoy having this additional source of renewable heating. For more information, talk to a heating contractor in Essex County, NJ.