Wood-pellet stoves were invented in the 1980's and have gained in popularity in the last few years. These are small electric stoves that burn small pieces of recycled sawdust that are compressed into pellets. There are a number of advantages to using wood-pellet stoves. They are extremely efficient, produce very little waste, and use inexpensive fuel.
Wood-pellet stoves are fueled by tightly compressed pieces of sawdust. They have complicated machinery that adds new pellets to the fire when more fuel is needed. The user merely has to add the pellets to the hopper, and the mechanical auger moves pellets to the fire as needed.
Wood-pellet stoves have average efficiency ratings of 80- to 85-percent. They heat more efficiently than bigger and more expensive gas heaters. These stoves have negative pressure systems that propel the hot air they produced outward, making the heat go farther than it would naturally. The pellets are burned so completely that they hardly give off any smoke, meaning that it is not necessary to build a large chimney to channel smoke out of the home. Wood-pellet stoves only need a small pipe leading outside to dispose of excess smoke.
Since wood stoves are so efficient, they hardly produce any waste. An entire 40-pound bag of pellets produces less than a cup of ashes. People can use a wood pellet stove for months without having to empty the ashes.
The pellets used as fuel are made of sawdust from lumberyards and wood mills. The sawdust is compressed at high temperatures and is not held together by any type of chemicals or glue. A 40-pound bag of pellets sells for less than five dollars, with discounts available for people who buy in bulk.
Wood-pellet stoves are a great alternative to gas or electric heating systems. They are economical and can produce enough heat to warm an entire house.