How does a Wood Pellet Stove work

Are you concerned about the environment? Do you plan to shift to a renewable energy source to heat your place? If so, have you considered a wood pellet stove? Even though wood pellet stoves look like traditional wood-burning stoves, they are much more sophisticated and partially operate on electricity.

To get a better understanding of wood pellet stoves and their functioning, read through the article.


What is a wood pellet stove?

Wood Pellet Stove 1

Let us start from the basics. Pellet stoves are environment-friendly heating appliance that burns compressed hardwood pellets or biomass pellets. A wood pellet stove looks like a traditional wood-burning stove, but unlike them, the pellet stove does not release smoke or pollute the environment.

These pellets are made from compressed sawdust and waste wood and are carbon-neutral. This means that the carbon released is similar to when wood naturally decomposes in the forest. This is the main reason why we say that wood pellet stoves are eco-friendly. However, ensure that you buy good quality pellets so that the stove burns clean.


Parts of a pellet stove

Parts of Pellet Stove

To understand how a wood pellet stove works, we first need to know the different parts of the stove.

1. Hopper- This can be of two types – top hoppers and bottom hoppers. HVAC specialists suggest a top hopper since it has less chance to catch fire. A hopper holds the pellets.

2. Auger- It is a motorized screw that transports the pellets to the burn pot. The thermostat controls the speed at which the pellets are transferred.

3. Burn pot- This is a cast-iron combustion chamber where we burn the pellets at a controllable rate.

4. Ashtray- A pellet stove creates a minimal amount of ash that gets collected in the ashtray placed below the burn pot. Clean the ashtray at least once a week.

5. Fans and heat exchangers- The convention fans pull in the cold air and push it to the hot burn pot. This hot air passes over the heat exchangers, which transfers the heated air into the room. The gas created during the burning process is pushed out of the combustion chamber by the exhaust blower fan. This is given out either through the chimney or a small hole in the wall.

6. Thermostat- You can’t have any machine without a control system, especially if the machine generates heat! A thermostat directly controls the speed of the auger feeds, thus setting the room temperature.


How does Wood Pellet Stove work?

Understanding the mechanism would be easier now since we looked through the different parts of a pellet stove. However, the whole mechanism is automatic and controlled by a thermostat. But, it is always good to understand how any device works. 

Step 1 – Add pellets into the hopper

We add the fuel, i.e., the wood pellets, into the hopper in the first step. An average hopper can hold up to 40 to 70 lbs pellets. Refill the hopper when there is a low quantity of pellets in the hopper if you want to keep the stove burning.


Step 2 – Auger transfers the pellets from the hopper to the burn pot

Auger is a motorized screw that pushes the pellets in the hopper to the burn pot. The number of pellets pushed into the burn pot depends on the signal given by the combustion chamber sensor. The right amount is pushed in to maintain the room temperature set in the thermostat.


Step 3 – Ignition process

The pellets are compressed under high pressure in the burn pot, producing about 4500 kcal energy per two pounds. This happens with electric ignition, i.e., the electric current creates a spark that ignites the pellets, thus creating heat.


Step 4 – Emission level (Gathering ash)

Most of the pellet is used as fuel during the burning process, but a minute part comes out as ash. This is collected in the ashtray placed below the burn pot.


Step 5 – Heater exchanger mechanism

In this process, the convection fan pulls in the air from the room and passes it over the burn pot. This hot air moves across a set of heat exchangers to purify it. This clean air is blown into the room with the help of a blower. 


Step 6 – Expelling unclean air

The remaining unclean air is expelled from the pellet stove to a pipping at the back of the stove. This is done with the help of an exhaust blower fan.


Your takeaway – 

Wood pellet stoves are efficient, cost-effective, convenient, and eco-friendly since wood pellets are renewable. The working of a wood pellet stove is not very complicated, and since it is automatic and controlled using a thermostat, you need not worry too much.

Have you switched to a wood pellet stove? Comment down below if you found this helpful article.

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I am tech writer who is passionate about technology and spearheads the core writing team on tech news

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