How Do Pellet Stoves Work

With the winters arriving where everyone likes to stay warm and cozy, fire is the best resource to keep yourself and your room warm. For the past so many years, wood has been the primary source of fuel but these days pellets have become the more reliable and less harmful source for producing heat energy. These best pellet stoves are more eco-friendly and more secure than any of the other conventional sources.

What is a Pellet Stove?

The stove which is made specially to burn pellets to produce heat and keep your room warm is known as a pellet stove. The construction and working of a pellet stove is quite similar to a wood stove but instead of wood, it uses pellets as its fuel source. Pellets are made from compressed sawdust, corn, and waste wood and are considered environment-friendly because the level of carbon dioxide exhausted if that wood had rotten naturally is about equal.

How Do Pellet Stoves Work
The Working mechanism of a pellet stove

The working of a pellet stove can be described in these 5 major steps:

1) Feeding of pellets
2) Combustion
3) Exchange of heat
4) Ventilation
5) Waste handling

Feeding of Pellets

These pellet stoves have augers that transfer pellets from the hopper into the combustion area. An auger is a tool resembling a large corkscrew, for boring holes in wood and a hopper is a storage box of pellets that is generally present at the top part of the stove. If the auger delivers pellets at a higher rate, the stove produces a greater amount of heat.


The combustion system consists of three parts:
1) Ignition system
2) Burn Pot
3) Blower fan

The ignition system can be of two types, either manual or automatic. In the manual ignition system, you first need to burn some fuel yourself and then fed it gradually for the storage box. But in the automatic ignition system, you don’t need to light the pellets manually. Once you start the stove, these pellets will automatically start burning.

The combustion chamber consists of a burn pot which is ignited after the pellets are fed into the chamber. The burn pot mixes the air and fuel to combust the fuel similar to a carburetor in a petrol engine.

The blower fans are installed to increase the flame if it starts diminishing in the burn pot. These fans make sure that oxygen is available readily for combustion. These blower fans and auto-ignition systems require electricity to operate. Here is a guide to buying the best pellet stove.

Exchange of Heat

Room air is collected by a fan and fed across the heat exchanger which is raised to a temperature of around 120-degree centigrade and the warmed air is returned into the room. The heat exchanger is present inside the combustion chamber to prevent the outer casting from becoming too much hot. Moreover, these stoves work on convection mode of heat transfer and not on the radiation mode like the conventional sources. Because of it, the heat is quickly transferred in the entire room and the pellets do not become so much hot. This adds a safety feature in the pellet stoves. So now if someone accidentally touches the outer casting there are no worries of him getting burnt.


For the purpose of ventilation, there is a small pipe that works like a chimney and through which all the residual gases are released out. Another blower fan is installed to direct the easy release of these exhaust gases through the vent.
Though in small amounts but harmful gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are produced in the burning of pellets and it is important to carefully exhaust these gases. It should be ensured that the released gases do not harm the neighbors and are handled properly. For safety purposes, extended vertical sections are used to release the gases.

Waste Handling

Although the burning of pellets produces very little ash but it needs to be managed properly. An ash pot is used to store the remains left after burning the pellets. This box is placed at the bottom of the system. Unlike the wood stoves, the ash drawer in pellet stoves does not require daily cleaning. Cleaning on a weekly basis is sufficient for these stoves.

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