This is the time of year when people curl up in front of the fire with a cup of hot cocoa, when those holiday decorations get taken back down from the attic, and when snow needs to be plowed out of the driveway.
For many people, it is also the time of year for higher electricity bills due to heating homes. However, some consumers have found the cost-effective alternative of using a wood stove or a pellet stove. These two options are great ways to avoid frostbite this winter without biting a chunk into a consumer’s wallet.
Pellet Stove vs. Wood-Burning Stove
While the choice between the two is typically a matter of preference, there are some key differences to consider when deciding which option is best for a particular household.
About Pellet Stoves
Pellet stoves burn wood biomass pellets instead of firewood, so chopping up firewood outside in freezing cold temperatures isn’t required to stay warm. While pellet stoves tend to last an average of twenty years, with the right tools and parts, repairs are relatively simple and inexpensive.
Pellet stove parts are available for purchase from online retailers with ease and there are many sizes and options available. Pellet stoves are also better for the environment than wood stoves. According to the Department of Energy, pellet stoves produce very little air pollution and are more convenient to use than traditional wood stoves.
About Wood-Burning Stoves
While pellet stoves are a great option, some people stand by the tried and trusted wood-burning stove. For some families, this has been the heating method of choice for generations. Wood burning stoves have some similar benefits as pellet stoves do. They also save money and provide a good amount of warmth, however, there are safety and health regulations to consider when using a wood stove.
When selecting a new wood-burning stove for purchase, the most important features to look for are safety and efficiency. New EPA guidelines limit the amount of smoke emission to a maximum of 4.5 grams per hour. Consumers need to check the back of the stove to make sure it has an EPA certification label before considering it for purchase. Now if Granny’s old wood burner needs some sprucing up, there’s no need to toss it to the curb just yet. With the right parts and a little bit of TLC, that old wood stove can be running good as new by the first snow.
Regardless of a consumer’s personal preference as to a means of warmth this winter, it’s good to know that options are available. The electric company doesn’t need to get rich in order for people to stay warm. Hot cocoa always goes better together with a warm fire than it does with an electric furnace.