A Guide To Pellet Stove In Cabins And Tiny Homes

August 9, 2021

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The wood stove evokes many distant memories often linked to childhood. It was the heating method most used by our grandparents.

Those who did not use them in the house in the city could probably use them in a cottage in the countryside or the mountain hut together with the fireplace.

Modern pellet stoves

Centuries have passed, but the wood stove is a practically timeless object. It is not just the charm of a product with such ancient roots, but it still offers excellent performance today.

But the times of those unsightly masses of scrap metal that often filled the house with smoke and the walls with soot are only a distant memory.

Today we have pellet stoves, clean, efficient, and cost-effective.

Pellet stoves use recycled materials and burn at low temperatures, offering a more sustainable alternative to keep warm.

It looks like a traditional wood stove but burns wood pellets instead. As a result of their higher density, they burn very efficiently.

Pellets are typically made from recycled sawdust or corn. Compared to chopping down trees for the wood, they are a more sustainable option.

Due to their compact size, these devices are a better alternative to small old-fashioned house and cabin heating sources.

How Do Pellet Stoves Work

The operating principle remains the same: heating occurs by radiation, convection, or a mix of the two systems-the fuel, in this case, is small wood pieces whose production rendered the ax-man jobless.

Pellet stoves are fuel-efficient, easy to use, and less smoky.

What has changed are the construction technologies and increasingly high-performance materials that have also made this sector evolve, delivering products of the highest level.

Further, modern pellet stoves are automated. In most cases, electrified or battery-operated motors are used to power pellet stoves.

Looking at the catalogs of the main producers of pellet stoves, we note the many innovative steps that have been taken.

Cabin and small home pellet stoves have become real furnishing objects, with attention to the smallest details, giving the customer a high-performance product and refined design.

How to Choose Pellet Stove for Cabin or Small House

Heat Output

A typical pellet stove has between 12,000 and 60,000 Btu, but several models have up to 90,000 Btu.

Heat and air conditioning standards use British thermal units for rating temperatures to classify levels.

When choosing a pellet stove for your tiny home, think about how much room you want to install it in.

For your feet to stay warm, every 200 square feet of space requires 5,000 Btu from a stove.

A 400 sq foot home will need a stove of more than 10,000 Btu.

Buying a big stove will force you to burn your pellets on low so as not to overheat the home. This is wasteful and damaging to the environment.

Internal and External Factors

Insulation

If you want to use a pellet stove to heat your cabin, you should consider how well insulated the house is.

A poorly insulated cabin will require a pellet stove with higher BTUs to compensate for it.

Having a well-insulated home can reduce the need for a pellet stove that is so powerful.

Modern, well-built vacation homes tend to be well-insulated, whereas older ones usually aren't.

Windows and ceiling heights

You might need to go for a pellet stove with a higher BTU range if you have many windows in your vacation home or windows that are in bad shape.

Small homes with low ceilings will require less powerful pellet stoves with a lower BTU range.

But for your vacation home, the higher the ceiling, the more power you need from your stove.

Because of convection, heat may rise and build up in areas not needed.

If you install paddle fans along with your pellet stove, you will have warm air circulating back into your living space, where it can be best utilized.

Geographical location

The climate and geographical location of your home can also influence your selection of a pellet stove.

A small home in a predominantly warm climate doesn't need a pellet stove that is as powerful as a home in a region that experiences harsh winters lasting 3-4 months and dipping to -20 F or bellow.

Is a pellet stove safe to use in an RV? - Answered(Opens in a new browser tab)

Materials and Design

Cast iron pellet stove

Among the most used types are the mini Franklin stoves. They are usually cast iron (rarely ceramic) and mix a fireplace and a classic stove.

They heat by radiation and offer a remarkable scenic effect. The pellet is inserted into the combustion chamber protected by a tempered glass door that allows you to observe the open flame.

Cast iron stoves last longer and are more efficient at keeping a home warm for long.

Steel pellet stove: 

Another material used to make modern pellet stoves is steel. You get products with contemporary designs that are well suited to modern environments.

They are among the cheapest stoves that can be found on the market. They propagate heat by convection and are an excellent solution as an additional heating system.

Steel stoves heat up much faster compared to cast iron stoves, saving you fuel and time.

The soapstone pellet stove

As we know, one of the characteristics that make the difference between one type of stove and another is the cladding material, where heat accumulates.

Having a material that gradually releases heat ensures that an environment is constantly and homogeneously heated and costs are optimized.

In this respect, soapstone stoves guarantee excellent results. Further, soapstone stoves last longer than both cast iron and steel stoves.

Bottom feeding pellet stoves

Pellets are delivered horizontally from the bottom feed hopper, behind the fire, or right next.

As a result of this design, standard pellets can be used since ash is moved away from the combustion area.

This allows the air inlets to stay open and reduces the need to clean the burn box.

Top feeding pellet stoves

Typically, pellets are fed from the top of a stove to an auger, then through a tube into the fire.

The design minimizes ash accumulation in the hopper and increases the likelihood of the fire spreading to the top.

This makes it necessary to use low-ash pellets of high quality. Pellets burn evenly in bottom-feed stoves.

These stoves are more efficient because the pellets stay above the flame until fully consumed.

Built-in/insert pellet stoves

Built-in stoves represent an ideal solution for those who have space problems or want an aesthetically superior solution.

They are normally installed using the mouth of an existing fireplace.

Also, there are solutions for all tastes and types of furnishings to effortlessly deploy the stove in the environment for optimal aesthetics and heating performance.

Manual vs. automatic pellet stoves

Pellet stoves with automatic ignition:

use electricity to light themselves.

You do not need to interact with them in any way once you press a button to turn them on.

Even if you're away from your home while your stove is burning, the settings on the thermostat will determine how much energy is consumed.

A manual ignition pellet stove:

usually costs less than an automatic one.

In a manual system, you must light the stove with matches and usually with an ignition gel.

By choosing when and how often the stove burns, you could save both energy and fuel.

A manual-ignition pellet stove is likely to need frequent repairs.

Advantages and disadvantages

Here are some of the main advantages of using a pellet stove in your cabin or small home

Cost savings

Thanks to the materials used, modern types can accumulate a lot of heat and gradually release it into the environment in which they are located.

it is possible to save on fuel and have greater autonomy of heat.

Reliable heating

You are never without heating. Just have a good supply of pellets, and you will never run the risk of being left in the cold.

There may be a power failure or a general blackout, but the stove will continue to operate.

Space efficiency

Modern pellet-burning stoves can also be made in tiny homes and with the strangest shapes, allowing installations in places that were once unthinkable.

They can be placed in a corner to heat only a small room or be installed on the wall as a fireplace. In short, they offer multiple possibilities and solutions.

Easy maintenance

Pellet stoves require minimal maintenance. Once installed, they do their duty, and the only thing they want in return is to empty the ashtray (now and then).

Periodically (at least once a year), the pipes should be cleaned of soot.

Cooking

In addition to heating, pellet stoves can be used for cooking and smoking foods.

Can Wood Stoves Impact The Environment?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Now some disadvantages:

Manual tasks

It could be a nuisance for many to take the pellet, put it in the stove, and proceed with the ignition-a fact of pure laziness more than a real inconvenience.

Pro Tip: You have the option of pellet stoves with electricity. The stoves rely on a heated electric coil to turn on and ignite.

The stoves come with a power cord to plug into the electrical outlet for the stove's operation.

Not all environments are good.

Before deciding to buy a pellet stove, it is necessary to evaluate the nominal power required carefully.

You can't buy it just for aesthetic reasons or because it matches the furniture and has the right size to fit in a corner.

If the stove does not have the correct nominal power, it is not enough to add more pellets to heat more!

Do you want the rewarding experience of sitting comfortably in an armchair, lulled by the graceful warmth that only a pellet stove can give?

Use this guide to find the best small models for your cabin or tiny house. It is simply a priceless feeling.

Can Wood Stoves Impact The Environment?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Sources

http://www.pelletstovefires.com/smallest-pellet-stove.html

https://www.consumerreports.org/pellet-wood-stoves/guide-to-pellet-and-wood-stoves/

http://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/pellet-stoves.html

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