pellet stove

New England winters can be downright nasty. Snow, sleet, hail and even thunderstorms, we get it all. Then there is the cold. About 10 years ago, in an effort to beat the rising price of heating oil and to reduce my carbon footprint, I began looking at alternative ways to heat my home, including the traditional wood stove and the newer pellet stove. Due to numerous factors and weighing the pros and cons, I opted for a pellet stove, and over the years I have come to the conclusion that it was the best choice for my situation.

While my pellet stove started out as a backup for my oil-fired furnace, it has become my primary source of heat, with my furnace coming on only to heat domestic hot water. Since I bought the stove people have asked about it when they visit.  Basically a pellet stove is just a sophisticated wood stove that burns compressed pellets made from wood scrap instead of logs. Many of today’s stoves can also be fed a certain ratio of whole-kernel shelled corn along with the wood pellets.

The fuel is easy to handle and burns very clean, thus eliminating a great deal of cleanup. The fuel is also relatively inexpensive. I burn about two tons of pellets per year to heat my home, more or less depending on how cold it is. This equates to around $600 per year. Add to this the oil I use for hot water, which equals about $1,100 per year, and I have cut my home fuel bills by about half.

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