How Do Wood Pellet Fireplaces Work?

Wood pellet fireplaces offer an efficient way to heat a home using a renewable energy source. If you are looking for heat sources outside of propane fireplaces, wood pellet stoves maintain the look of traditional woodstoves, but operate more efficiently without many of the disadvantages.

pellet fireplace
via Unsplash

Pellet fireplaces burn wood pellets which are known to be economical compared to other types of fuel like wood logs, heating oil or electricity. They are easy to maintain compared to log burning stoves, and they burn very cleanly. You can fill your fireplace in the morning and have it burn for 16 or more hours before it must be refilled again. Wood pellet fireplaces are very energy efficient, making them an increasingly popular choice in many homes.

Wood pellet fireplaces are sophisticated devices

It’s important to distinguish wood pellet fireplaces from traditional wood burning stoves. Wood pellet fireplaces resemble them, but are much more advanced and sophisticated. They partially operate using electricity and often have numerous built in safety features and sensors.

How wood pellet fireplaces work

The wood pellets are first loaded into the hopper which is usually located on the bottom or the top of the fireplace. An auger, which is a device similar to a long screw, delivers the pellets to the burn pot from the hopper. The speed of the auger will determine how hot the fireplace gets. The burn pot mixes fuel and air to create the fire, and the ashes from the burning are collected into the ash pot which will need to be cleaned on a regular basis.


Pellet fireplaces heat the room through convection

A process of convection is used to heat a room using a wood pellet stove, which is not the same as a traditional fireplace. Hot air rises, and as a gas rises in temperature it becomes less dense and lighter, so warm air rises above cooler air. The convection blower on the pellet fireplace pulls in cool air from the room which then passes over the fire and makes it burn hotter. This process also ensures that the pellets burn evenly. The heated air moves across a heat exchanger which transfers clean warm air into the room. The exhaust blower removes exhaust gas through a narrow pipe outside of the back of the stove.

Wood pellet fireplaces are operated by thermostats

Wood pellet fireplaces are operated by a thermostat. Changing the thermostat will control how many pellets are fed from the auger into the combustion chamber. The larger quantity of pellets that are used, the higher the temperature that the fire will be. There are two types of wood pellet stoves: insert and free standing stoves. Existing fireplaces can be fitted with wood pellet burning inserts that vent into the chimney, however free standing stoves with their own exhaust are also a popular option for those who don’t have a fireplace in their home. There are a wide range of different sizes, features and options available on wood pellet fireplaces depending on your unique needs.

Diversified Energy has extensive experience with installing many of the most popular wood pellet burning fireplace and stove brands, and can help you find the perfect option. Find your local service center to ask us any questions that you may have.