What Makes Pellet Stove Inserts Energy Efficient?

Posted by Rob Hanflig on

Sure, a traditional open fireplace looks amazing. They can make just about any home feel quaint and cozy.

But, do they really serve their purpose? Not so much. At least not as efficiently as they could. Let us explain: 

One large factor is that in a fireplace, a significant amount of heated air has to be sucked in. This results in combustion. Then, where does that air go? Straight up the chimney. 

On top of that, traditional fireplaces are extremely detrimental for air pollution. Although more modern designs have features to avoid this, it's still quite prevalent. 

A pellet stove insert may be the solution for you if you're looking for a more energy efficient option. Read on to learn about pellet stove inserts and what makes them better for the environment. 

What Are Pellet Stove Inserts? 

Pellet Stove Inserts are built into a fireplace or hearth. They are similar to a wood stove, in terms of functionality. They also make use of the chimney, as well.  

What makes them different than a wood stove is that it's built to fit into a masonry fireplace. Masonry fireplaces are wasteful in terms of energy and are major polluters, so that's where inserts come in. 

Typically, you'll see an insert firebox within a steel shell. This shell and firebox trap the air from within the room. It's heated, then dispersed back into the room. 

Without an insert, much of the air is typically trapped within the fireplace. Then, it eventually gets blown up through the chimney.

But, a pellet stove insert has an outer shell that keeps the air from releasing into the chimney. This outer shell is what you would see in the room. 

How Do Pellet Stove Inserts Work? 

As you probably know, to heat a home, you would have to load logs into a normal fireplace. But, with pellet stove inserts, you pour in pellets into a hopper. 

They're easy to use and you can easily control the temperature and rate at which they burn. Like a regular fireplace, you would just add more pellets to bump up the heat. 

They're usually fairly small in size and are made from farm or forest waste products. Often times, they're made from compressed sawdust or agricultural crop waste.

Pellets can be made from corn on the cob or even peanut shells

Pellet stove inserts are difficult to install on your own, so it's definitely best to contact a professional. An insert must be sealed in as tightly as possible, to avoid releasing excess warm air. 

Also, not all fireplaces and chimnies are compatible with pellet stove inserts. You should have an installer come visit your property prior to purchasing. 

How Are They More Efficient?

By repurposing natural products (farm and forest waste), you are using a form of renewable energy. Instead of heading to a landfill, these products are given a new life. 

Repurposing these resources also results in lower carbon dioxide emissions. CO2 is a real problem for the environment as well as people. This is especially true for those residing in metropolitan areas. 

Some cities have even regulated wood burning as it contributes to pollution. If air quality falls below a certain standard, residents are restricted from using wood burning appliances. 

Burning firewood can be harmful to a person's health due to the release of chemicals. When you burn firewood, you're releasing hundreds of chemicals including carbon monoxide. 

Also, pellet stove inserts burn much cleaner than a traditional fireplace would. A fireplace produces creosote, which is a toxic substance from burnt tar. Exposure to creosote is very hazardous, as it can create an array of health problems. 

Lastly, pellets are actually much more efficient in creating heat than other insert stoves.  

More Advantages of Pellet Inserts 

Besides being energy efficient, pellet insert stoves hold a lot of other benefits. For example, it takes a lot longer to burn through pellets than it would for firewood.

This means that you don't have to constantly add new 'fuel', or tend to it as frequently. A single hopper fill of pellets should last you several days, where firewood would last a few hours if you're lucky. 

Also, if you have children or pets, pellet inserts are much less dangerous than firewood. They require much lower temperatures to operate than a traditional fireplace. 

Because of this, the outer metal surrounding the box doesn't get nearly as hot. Unlike a fireplace, there isn't a huge opening, so an insert is certainly a safer option. 

What Else to Know About Pellet Inserts

Do you plan to use your pellet stove insert in the event of a power outage? You should purchase extra batteries or a home generator to ensure you have a backup.

We know that the aesthetic of an open fireplace is truly stunning. So, if you're missing that cabin look, you can purchase inserts with ceramic logs. They serve the same purpose as pellets but mimic the appearance of burning firewood. 

When purchasing a pellet stove, you'll want to ensure it fits properly in the desired space. 

You can actually contribute to air pollution by burning at lower temperatures to avoid overheating in larger units. On the other hand, if your insert stove is too small, it won't provide an adequate amount of heat. 

Lastly, it's important to consider the placement of your pellet stove insert. Essentially, a stove insert acts as if it's a space heater.

With this in mind, you'll want to place it in a room you're frequently in. Also, you should purchase some type of blower to distribute the heat throughout your home. 

Looking to Buy a Pellet Stove Insert?

Are you looking into upgrading to a pellet stove insert? Then, you've come to the right place!

We carry a long line of pellet insert stove parts, as well as wood burner stove options. Our stove parts include everything you’ll need to repair, upgrade, clean and maintain. 

Contact us today to learn more about our pellet products from some of the largest brands! 


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