How Do Wood burning fireplace inserts Work?
Wood stoves warm through radiant heat and many have a built-in or optional blower to help distribute heat more evenly over a larger area.
Blowers help save fuel and increase the overall comfort level in the space being heated. Some models provide enough surface space to cook on and most provide an enjoyable view of the flame.
Both wood and wood pellet stoves burn wood, which is carbon neutral, making either choice better for the environment than natural gas or petroleum-burning heaters. Some newer wood stoves include a catalytic combustor resulting in cleaner exhaust gases.
Wood pellet stoves operate at much lower temperatures, are often cool to the touch, and utilize a built-in blower to help warm a room.
The wood pellet stove has a built-in pellet hopper and automated feed system that delivers wood pellets into the stove’s burn chamber where combustion air is forced through the fire to create a furnace-like effect.
The feeder system allows the fire to burn longer without loading than a traditional wood stove. State-of-the-art technology helps control fuel-to-air ratio within the stove and ensures a more complete combustion of the fuel.
Maintenance depends on your stove choice. A non-catalytic wood stove may take longer to heat and produce more smoke, but it is less expensive and requires less servicing. A catalytic wood stove must be inspected regularly and serviced.
Wood pellet stoves are easy to maintain, but routine maintenance is necessary to ensure it functions properly.
Tip: Both wood and wood pellet stoves are available as standalone units or as fireplace inserts that make use of existing masonry or prefab fireplaces and chimneys. Inserts require less space, but can be more difficult to install.
What Are Wood Pellets?
Wood pellets have the lowest particulate matter emissions of all fuels. Their density allows them to produce lots of heat and very little ash.
Wood pellets typically come from mills, furniture manufacturers, recycling centers, sawdust, logging residue or paper packaging. The wood is dried and compressed into small cylinder-shaped pieces of wood similar in shape to rabbit food.
Pellets are sold in bags or by the ton, and vary in size from 3/8 inch to 1 inch.