Can You Really Heat Your Whole Home with a Pellet Stove?

The idea of heating an entire house with wood may sound very 18th century. But thanks to new technology, it is now possible to heat an entire, average- to large-sized home to a comfortable temperature just by burning wood pellets. And it's not nearly as inconvenient as you might assume! The main apparatus that makes this possible is the pellet stove, which burns compacted wood pellets typically made from bark and other wood scraps that would otherwise rot away in a landfill. There are three main features of pellet stoves that make them a viable option for those who want a greener, more sustainable alternative to heating their homes with fossil fuels.

Automatic Feeders

Years ago, heating your home with wood would have meant getting up every few hours to add logs to the fire. Clearly, this is not an option for most people today, as people leave their homes for 8 or more hours at a time to work and socialize. Automatic feeders remove this hassle, making pellet stoves far more convenient. You simply load the automatic feeder with wood pellets every day (or every couple of days, depending on temperature) and it feeds pellets into the burning chamber as needed. Most people can manage reloading a feeder once a day or so; you can set an alarm on your phone to remind you if needed.

Integration with Ductwork

Traditional wood fireplaces deliver heat radiantly. That is to say, the heat radiates directly from the fireplace into the room. This results in uneven heating. The room where the fireplace is located gets very warm, but the rest of the home stays chillier. Pellet stoves, however, can be integrated with ductwork and a blower unit. They work similarly to a natural gas furnace, warming air that is then blown throughout the home to ensure it is heated evenly.

Effective Vent Systems

Another consequence of traditional wood-burning heating was homes that always smelled like a campfire. Soot accumulation was also an issue, especially when chimneys became dirty. But pellet stoves are designed to burn at a very high temperature, meaning there is less ash and debris leftover. They also have very effective vent system—and the burn chambers are completely enclosed—so any soot and ash left behind does not end up in your home. When it is installed by an HVAC professional, you can also be confident that your pellet stove is vented in a way that will prevent carbon monoxide from building up in your home. (Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas generated whenever a fuel, such as wood, is burned.)

The advent of automatic feeders, ductwork integration, and effective vent systems for pellet stoves has made heating your home with wood a more viable option than ever before. Talk to an HVAC contractor, like one from Advanced Heating & Cooling, who specializes in pellet stoves to learn more.