4 Tips for Optimizing Home Heating With a Pellet Stove

Construction & Contractors Articles

When the fall and winter weather sets in and brings a chill to the air, the first thing you'll reach for is probably the thermostat and a sweater. But, if you want to have an efficient heat source that's consistent and environmentally friendly, you should consider swapping your heating system for a pellet stove before the winter months arrive. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when you're looking to make the most of your pellet stove heat.

Choose Your Stove by Size

Making the most of your pellet stove starts long before it's installed. When you start looking for a pellet stove for your house, you need to make sure that you get the right size. A pellet stove that's too small won't produce enough heat. That means you'll risk the stove overheating because you'll be striving for a temperature that's just not achievable.

For a home that's around 2,000 square feet, you'll want to choose a stove that's rated for approximately 50,000 BTU. That will help to ensure that you're getting sufficient, even heating. If you are heating a smaller living space, you can probably opt for a smaller unit, but talk with a pellet stove consultant to find out the best size based on the floor plan and square footage of your house.

Select the Proper Pellets

The first time you buy pellets for your stove, you'll have to choose a supplier. Make sure you're working with a reputable source so that you get the pellets you want. The contents of the pellets can have a significant effect on how the system burns, so you need to be sure you're getting quality material. Look for pellets that are made from wood with no filler or bark.

You'll also want to be sure that any pellet you choose is a low-moisture pellet. Any added moisture in the pellets can cause them to burn at a lower temperature, which may limit the heat output you get from the stove when it burns.

Adjust the Flame

Since pellet stoves need a steady supply of air from the combustion fan to maintain the flame, you need to make sure that there is enough air moving. If the flame is burning orange, that's a sign that you need more airflow in the stove. If it's burning beyond the lower third of the chamber height, it's probably getting too much air. The goal is to get a white flame that isn't excessively high for maximum heat production. Familiarize yourself with the damper operation so that you can adjust the airflow as needed.

Clear Out the Burn Chamber Frequently

Although pellet stoves burn pretty clean, they do create some ash that will settle inside the burn chamber. That means emptying the chamber as frequently as possible. You can do this by vacuuming it out and then sweeping away any residual ash. You should start with cleaning it at least once a week and adjust the frequency based on the buildup of ash under normal use. Evaluate how much ash develops between cleaning to decide if you need to clean it more frequently. Keeping it clean is important to maintaining sufficient airflow, which is what drives the heat out into the living space.

At least once a year, you should have your pellet stove maintained by a service professional. The annual maintenance process involves breaking down the stove, cleaning out the flue and then cleaning the internal components. This helps to protect all of the internal pieces and eliminates any residue inside said flue.

With the information here, you can be well equipped to maximize your pellet stove for heat throughout the cold weather months. Talk with a pellet stove contractor like Lowry Services: Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to help you choose and understand the right stove for your home.


21 July 2015

Building our Guest House Was a Great Decision

For years, my wife and I debated on what we wanted to do with all of the spare land in the back of our house. We were lucky enough to buy a house on an extra-large lot for a great deal, but the land was "going to waste" for quite a while. One day, we finally decided to have a guest house built on it, and now that the house is finished, we wish we had built it long ago. We are now renting it out for some extra income, and it is helping us save for retirement. I have always been fascinated by construction, so I enjoyed watching the professionals build the guest house and learned a lot during the process. I decided to fill some free time by blogging about the experience and sharing some construction info I learned during the process. Come back soon!