With electricity rates continuing to trend upward, homeowners who depend on electric heat sources are beginning to search for alternatives. For many of these stressed homeowners, the installation of a wood or pellet stove can seem like a possible solution to their dilemma. But when faced with making a choice between the two, most homeowners lack the knowledge to be comfortable making this type of important decision. If you are considering adding a wood or pellet stove to your home, the following information will help you choose the right one for your home and personal situation.
Using pellets or wood as a fuel source
The first question to answer when trying to decide between a wood stove or one that uses pellets is to determine which fuel will be most available and affordable in your situation. If your home is located in an area where firewood is readily available for purchase or if you have timber on your own property to cut, the wood stove is likely to be the most convenient and affordable choice. However, if you have physical limitations that might make handling firewood difficult, or if you live in an urban area where firewood is unavailable or prohibitively expensive, then the pellet stove will likely be the better option.
Flues and venting requirements
Pellet stoves can be installed in homes with no operational flue or chimney by having a vent pipe installed through a wall. Homeowners who have an operational flue or chimney in their home, however, may only need to have a professional chimney inspection before installing a wood stove. If an existing chimney or flue is deemed unsafe for use with a wood stove, homeowners can often retrofit the chimney or flue by having a heat-safe metal pipe inserted inside to safely carry smoke and heat produced by the wood fire outside the home.
Full or partial heat source
The next question to ask when deciding whether to opt for a wood stove or pellet stove is whether you hope to use it full time to reduce the amount of future heating bills significantly, or whether it will only be used during emergencies. In most cases, a properly sized wood stove will be capable of heating larger areas more reliably and economically than a pellet stove, which may use a full bag of pellet fuel in less than a day, especially in severe weather.
To learn more about pellet and wood stoves and find out which one will work best for your home heating situation, contact a reputable dealer in your area.