Somewhat seen as the ‘new kids on the block,’ pellet stoves are a fairly recent addition to the UK stove market. Their popularity is growing thanks to pellet stoves’ diverse heating applications and stylish designs.
The pellet stove is made to provide you with quick and sustained heat, for the room or even your home and hot water. At the touch of a button, or even an app, the stove can be programmed to turn itself on at a set time, get up to temperature in around six minutes and burn for a given length of time. There is no need to refuel, simply ensure the hopper is full before use. It is possible to add more pellets to the hopper safely while it is in use.
The built-in hopper feeds a steady regular stream of biomass pellets into the fire. This maintains the temperature for as long as the hopper has fuel – anything from ten hours to two days!
The fuel, known as pellets, are tinder dry, compressed organic matter shaped like a pill. This type of fuel is considered much more affordable, environmentally friendly and sustainable than many other kinds of fuels. Pellet stoves are popular among customers who previously had an oil-burning stove but are looking to change due to the unviably high price of oil.
Pellet stoves are superbly efficient, leaving less than 0.5% ash. This is a great way of saving money, but these stoves also come fitted with thermostats and thermometers that accurately regulate the temperature of the stove, meaning your room will never become too hot.
Also, thanks to this high efficiency, you will find only very small levels of creosote and even lower levels of ash to clean out, which is a benefit to anyone that has ever had to clean out a wood burning or multifuel stove!
When it comes to providing your home with heating, pellet stoves really come into their own. A central heating model will comfortably link to pressurised hot water storage systems, ideal for modern, well-insulated homes.
How do pellet stoves work?
After filling the hopper with your pellets, set the temperature and duration using the electronic control panel on the stove, remote control or app.
We stock top-fed pellet stoves, which typically use an auger to feed the fuel down from the hopper to the burn pot. Air is drawn through the bottom and into the burn pot, and the air intake is regulated by the stove, meaning there is no need for you to adjust the air supply as you usually would with a wood-burning or multi-fuel stove.
The downside of pellet stoves
As with all fairly new products, we are still in the early stages of development and pellet stoves are still being adapted to suit the UK’s heating requirements and tastes.
A downside to pellet stoves that UK customers should be aware of is its rear exit flue. The majority of pellets stoves have this means of removing gases from the stove, although a couple have top flues.
The cool back of a pellet stove means it can sit close to a wall, and in Europe they can rear exit the flue through the wall and terminate outside at almost ground level.
In the UK this is deemed too low for regulations so the flue has to exit higher. A 90ᴼ tee-piece must come out the back of the stove to send the flue directly up before exiting at a higher level. This requires a fair amount of space behind the stove, which means that it will not sit as close to the wall as first thought. Manufacturers recommend installing a pellet stove in a corner to combat this issue, making use of the room’s dead space. We keenly await a top-exiting flue for pellet stoves.
Featured image is the MCZ Tilda pellet stove.