March 27, 2013

Pellet Stoves Use Renewable Energy

Pellet stoves are similar to wood stoves in concept, but they have automated operation and burn processed biomass.

Pellets are manufactured from compacted sawdust, wood chips, agricultural crop waste, wastepaper and other materials. They also can be made from biomass fuels such as nutshells, corn kernels, sunflowers and soybeans.

How pellet stoves work

Pellet stoves are designed to heat a space directly. The flue in a pellet stove can be direct-vented through a wall, meaning that no chimney is required, making them convenient to add to any home. Pellets are stored in a hopper that can generally hold enough pellets for the stove to run for more than a day.

Pellet stoves use electricity to run three motorized systems:
  • A screw auger feeds pellets into the fire at a controlled rate;
  • An exhaust fan vents exhaust gases and draws in combustion air;
  • A circulating fan forces air through the heat exchanger and into the room.
All these systems operate automatically.


Pellet stoves require frequent maintenance, but they need less than a wood stove. It should be inspected regularly. The hopper must be filled and the ashtray should be emptied on a weekly basis.

Additionally, the stove should have a yearly check-up. A professional can check that the doors, gaskets, electric connections and seals on the stove are in good condition. They


The efficiency ratings of pellet stoves  combine electrical efficiency, combustion efficiency (a measure of the heat produced from burning fuel), and heat transfer efficiency. Efficiencies can range from 78% to 80%. More efficient stoves lose less heat up the chimney and deliver more heat into the home.

For more information on pellet stoves, contact Northeast Distribution.
can also check the chimney for creosote, rust and corrosion.