Wood Stoves Vs Pellet Stoves: Fueling, Usage & Heat Output

Choosing a stove for your fireplace can be quite tricky especially when it comes to making the pick between stoves that burn similar fuel; here, we’re talking about wood stoves and pellet stoves.

What are the differences and similarities? What will best suit your needs?

All of these are important questions needing the right answers. With the right answer, you’re able to determine what best fits your needs or what stove type to get for your fireplace.

We’re all about helping you achieve your desire.

Comparing Pellet Stoves Vs Wood Stoves

As you read through this article, you should find as much information about the topic under consideration. So without further delay, let’s begin;

The Fuel

As their names suggest, wood and pellet stoves burn different fuels.

Unlike wood stoves that burn wood, pellet stoves are designed to burn pellets. Now, such pellets are made from corn recycled wood shavings as well as sawdust. These are efficient fuels for this stove type and produce the needed heat

So, although these are in varying forms, the main constituent remains wood.

Now that you know, we’ll delve into additional details about wood and pellet stoves. Although these two look similar in varying ways, there are fundamental differences as you’ll soon see.

Wood Stoves

In making your pick for a wood stove, you’ll have to make several considerations. That is because variations are involved.

You’ll have to consider choosing between a freestanding stove or an insert, the size & heat output, its ease of use, ash bin, blower, DEFRA or EPA approved, and efficiency among several others.

  • Fuel Consideration

Wood stoves are already designed to use wood as fuel.

However, this is only ideal for use when it serves your purpose better than a pellet stove. In other words, it’s preferable to get this stove over others if your wish is to use wood which offers simplicity.

  • Freestanding or Insert

If your bias is towards buying a wood stove, then you may want to consider looking at other aspects of its operation.

That is, choosing between a freestanding wood stove or a fireplace insert. As suggested by the name, a freestanding woodstove functions as a standalone.

In other words, it has greater flexibility and can be placed wherever you want it to be. However, the fireplace or stove insert will need to be installed into an existing fireplace. This too functions effectively but requires a fireplace.

  • The Size and Heat Output

With wood stoves comes the need to choose the right size that’s designed to efficiently heat your home space.

Wood stoves come in different sizes. Getting one which isn’t the perfect size will result in overheating or over-firing your stove which ends up damaging it.

  • Ease of Use

A wood stove shouldn’t be complex or difficult to operate.

This is an important consideration to make when buying one. Different designs come with varying numbers of air vents. There are those with a single air vent while others have double. You’ll need to pick which is easier for you.

  • Ash Bin

Ash bins serve an important function in wood stoves. These come with removable ash bins.

Such ash bins enable you easily remove ashes between fires which are typical with wood stoves. This is an important component as it helps your wood stove burn longer.

  • Blower

Improved wood stove designs come with a blower. These help to push heated air out into your room. You might want to look out for these types of wood stoves.

  • EPA Approved

EPA approved wood stoves give you the added confidence that you’re using an efficient product with little to no negative impact (emissions) on the environment. Such stoves are also efficient heating systems.

  • Efficiency

There are efficiency ratings that accompany wood stoves. This makes things even easier as you can easily pick up those having the highest ratings. Such stoves will efficiently burn wood resulting in proper heating of your home.

Pellet Stoves

Pellet stoves are quite sophisticated heating devices that come at an added advantage; low-cost heating. As earlier stated, their fuels are made from recycled sawdust, wood shavings, or corn.

Others include peanut shells and walnut. These pellets or fuels are sold in 40-pound bags.

  • Freestanding or Insert?

Like wood stoves, pellet stoves come in both freestanding stoves as well as fireplace inserts. Your needs will determine the product you go for. Freestanding pellet stoves shave the advantage of being placed wherever you want them to be. However, the same cannot be said for fireplace inserts.

Pellet inserts will require an existing fireplace to install. This means they aren’t as versatile or can’t be moved around like freestanding pellet stoves.

  • The Cost Angle

When it comes to comparing the cost between wood stoves and fireplace inserts, there’s a clear difference. Pellet stoves are more sophisticated, hence cost more than wood stoves.

However, the energy-saving benefits derived makes them more preferred.

  • Fuel

Pellet stoves are designed to combust pellets. Compared to wood fuels, pellets burn much cleaner and produce more heat than wood stoves. This results in the release of less particulate matter into the air.

So, why are pellet fuels more efficient burners than wood? The answer is simple!

The process of production contributes significantly to their efficiency. Pellets are highly compressed to squeeze out moisture. This significantly drops their moisture content, thus making them dryer.

Now, dryer fuels produce more heat than those which aren’t as dry such as wood. Now, pellet stoves are meant to be highly efficient. These factors contribute to giving off far less creosote, thus lessening the chances of a chimney fire.

  • These Aren’t Perfect

Although we’ve stated the many benefits pellet stoves have over wood stoves, these heating devices aren’t perfect.

Compared to wood stoves, pellet stoves are much complex to operate. There are more moving parts and motors which end up needing more maintenance than wood stoves.

However, there are ways you can go around their complexity. When buying one, you should be specific about getting less complex models.

Wood stoves and pellet stoves are important heating devices. Although both are designed to supply heat, we’ve seen the differences between the two.

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