As the colder weather begins to approach we soon start to think about our heating and keeping warm. However, often at the forefront our mind is the cost of our energy bills, since heating your home with gas and electricity isn’t cheap, but what about a traditional fire?Heating your home with a stove is easy and far more cost effective. But what type of stove should you choose? A wood burning stove or a pellet stove? Each have their advantages and disadvantages, so let us investigate.
The Cost of Fuel
Pellet stove – as the name suggests pellet stoves use wood pellets for fuel which is typically made up of sawdust and wood ships. In the United States, pellets are not as common as wood since not everyone offers them for sale, although a lot of regions do have suppliers.
Wood stove – wood stoves work just like a fire as they burn wood logs, this makes them cheaper to run since wood logs are a lot more common than pellets. Even better you even have the potential to source your own wood for free, making it a superior option in terms of cost.
Eco Friendly Rating
Pellet stove – in terms of being green, pellet stoves win, so much so that the EPA doesn’t even monitor their use. What’s great is that as pellets are made from wood waste, so you are basically recycling and helping to keep wood waste out of landfills. In terms of carbon emissions when pellets are burned they emit 0.035 pounds of CO2 per kilowatt-hour.
Wood stove – on the other hand wood releases 0.00612 pounds per kilowatt-hour of CO2, meaning it is the less greener of the two. However, it should be noted that both options are considered carbon neutral, so there’s no need to feel guilty about using either of the two.
Pellet stove – pellet stoves are generally considered safer as the flames are more contained and so no embers of sparks will be able to fly out and cause burns and potential fires in your home. Although be aware that pellet stoves can get very hot, so avoid of touching them when they are in use.
Wood stove – burning wood is of course more risky as there is the potential for embers, ash and sparks to fly around and cause burns and fires. Additionally have to stoke the fire has its own risks as an open flame is very hot, that’s why it’s always recommended you wear gloves.
Pellet stove – a pellet stove doesn’t require as much maintenance as a wood stove, all that will be required is for you to carry out checks on the working order of motors and fans or eliminating left-over debris. As long as your follow the guidelines that accompany your pellet stove then you should be able to save a lot of money in comparison to wood stoves, additionally you won’t need as many inspections. The only downside of a pellet stove is that sourcing a repair man can be more difficult as they tend to be sparser throughout the country.
Wood stove – maintaining a wood burning stove can be a lot of work, you will need to maintain the flue, chimney and other components. More costly is the fact you will need a certified chimney sweep annually to check your system, in addition to a residue and soot clearance throughout the year. Another important maintenance concern for wood stoves is examining the catalytic combustor, which must be carried out three times per year at least.
There are no equal winners when it comes to pellet stoves vs wood stoves as both have positives and negatives. The one you choose depends mostly on your personal preferences, however as cost is usually the main concern, pellet stoves would be the better choice. However if you have difficulties finding a local wood pellet supplier, a wood burning stove is the obvious choice for you. Ultimately both are far cheaper and greener than other fuels such as gas and electric, so using both is very desirable.