after the jump. During the 1970s energy crisis, Europe quickly latched on alternative heating options such as pellet stoves. It wasn't until the mid-2000s that pellet heating caught on in the US, but it is fast gaining momentum, and has nearly doubled in use since 2004. Pellet appliances have a high combustion, can burn up to +99% efficiency and can pack up to 113,00BTU. Types of Pellets The great thing about pellet fuel is it is typically derived from post-industrial recycled content such as sawdust or wood chips from the wood and furniture industry. Pretty much all pellets are bio-based and are from rapidly renewable sources, so in addition to wood-based pellets, there are also waste paper pellets, corn, sunflower seeds, nut shells and more. Unlike wood burning fireplaces, which can sometimes burn dirty and ineffiecient, and have even been banned in some cities, pellet stoves are very efficient. Pellet heat provides a very convenient, economic and clean solid fuel source of heat. Compared to wood, pellets produce very little ash, and the ash it does leave behind is much cleaner and free of pollutants. Appliance Options
- Fireplace & Stoves: These appliances are the most common and least expensive option. When installed in a small and/or efficiently built home, fireplaces and stoves can be used as a primary or secondary heating source. Because of their construction and installation, they function much cleaner and efficiently than standard open front fireplaces. When more than one stove or fireplace is installed, they can be used as a primary heat source in a zoned system. A number of the appliances would be installed throughout the house in conjunction with thermostats to raise or lower the heat as needed.
- Furnace & Boilers: Pellets can be used to fuel pellet furnaces and boilers much like their gas or electricity powered counterparts. Using ducts and heat exchangers heat can be transmitted through ducts or radiant heat, and can even power domestic hot water heaters.