As this blog is being written, there is snow on the ground in Kansas City and the temperature this morning was below freezing.
Keeping your home warm and toasty is on everyone’s minds, not just today, but for the remainder of winter. The obvious way is cranking up your central furnace, which gets expensive. But you can turn your fireplace into an effective heater, too. That drafty, heat-sucking fireplace can become a fuel-efficient heating source with a pellet stove insert.
What is a Pellet Stove Insert?
Most homeowners are familiar with gas and wood burning fireplaces. A pellet stove insert is installed in your existing fireplace. While there are other types of fireplaces inserts, the fact that this insert burns wood pellets as fuel is what differentiates it from other inserts. Wood pellets are made from by-products and waste materials like compressed organic matter, which is a selling point for environmentally conscious homeowners.
How Does a Pellet Stove Insert Operate?
Unlike wood-burning fireplaces, you don’t have to keep adding logs to the fire to keep it going. Nor, do you have to continuously add more pellets. Instead, pellet stove inserts have a hopper that you fill with the pellets. When needed, pellets automatically move from the hopper to the burn pot where the fire burns.
A blower sends air to the burn pot to increase the fire’s intensity. A heat exchanger transfers the heat from the pellet stove insert to your home. Too hot? The internal thermostat tells the blower to send less air. Too cold? The blower sends more air and pellets refill the burn pot.
Three Reasons Pellet Stove Inserts are Worth Considering
- They are extremely safe. Electric ignitions make lighting them a matter of flicking of switch or pushing of button. An internal thermostat regulates pellets burning. And, many have auto shut-off features that shut down the fire when the door opens or the temperature climbs too high.
- Pellets are a cost-efficient fuel option. Compared to gas and wood, pellets can be a cost-efficient way to heat your home. It boils down to how often you use your pellet stove insert, the size of your home and how cold a winter we have any given year.
- They don’t require constant attention. Wood-burning fireplaces require you to keep an eye on them, adding wood to keep the fire going or ensuring it’s out before you leave or go to bed. Since pellet stove inserts have an internal thermostat and an auto shut-off feature, it regulates itself to keep your set temperature.
How Do Pellet Stove Inserts Stack Up Against Wood-Burning and Gas Fireplaces?
The similarities between wood stove and pellet stove inserts are their appearance, ability to match an insert your home’s style and installation in your existing fireplace.
The differences are the fuel type (wood logs and starter twigs vs. pellets) and efficiency (wood-burning stoves have a double-digit disadvantage vs. pellet stove inserts).
The obvious difference between gas fireplaces and pellet stove inserts is the fuel source—gas vs. pellets. Gas fireplaces need a gas line run to it, which can increase cost depending on how far apart your fireplace and gas line are. They also require ceramic wood-looking logs to recreate the visual of a wood-burning fireplace. Gas fireplaces are capable of 70,000 BTU, but pellet stove inserts can produce 90,000 BTU of energy.
Turn Your Wood Fireplace into an Efficient Heater That Runs on a Schedule
Complete Home Concepts carries Harmen and Quadra-Fire pellet stove inserts. Choosing the right one for your home is as easy as 1-2-3. Our experts are available to answer any questions or share solid recommendations based on your home style and square footage.