The need for alternative energy sources has motivated many to look for options when replacing equipment that supply needs in many aspects of life. If one is looking at an alternative source of heating, the Biomass Stove continues to gain in popularity. These are sometimes referred to "pellet stoves" and provide a beautiful, decorative, focal point in any room of the home.
One of the main advantages of these heating systems is that they use organic material which burns clean and efficient providing owners with a more economical alternative to heating a room. Varying in style, they once looked like pot-bellied stoves, but have now transformed into beautiful, contemporary designs that look elegant yet provide that firelight glow that provides warmth and comfort.
One of the most popular forms of fuel for this system is wood pellets. They are made from various materials such as wood bark, sawdust, or even by-products from mills and agricultural sites and often come in 40-50 pound bags. Other products gaining in popularity include corn, cherry pits, grain, nutshells, and even soybeans. Basically, any organic material can be used and companies today are seeking alternatives that keep costs low which satisfying customer needs.
One of the by-products of this type of stove is ash. Manufacturers have taken this to heart and now provide a rating system to ensure that the operation and efficiency of the stove is optimized during use, but results in low ash output. For example, "premium pellets" generate a lower ash content which means less work for the user. For those who have a fireplace or other type of wood stove, the work and mess of ash removal is something many would like to avoid.
The selection available in these stoves varies widely making them perfect for residential use. Those which are free standing can heat a large room or space, as would be expected from a traditional wood-burning stove. Fireplace inserts are also available as are furnaces, water heating systems, and air conditioners all of which utilize pellets. These can easily replace an existing heating system which is more costly to run.
Designs vary widely across manufacturers as well. The majority require a container called a hopper in which pellets are held until used. The bigger the equipment, the larger the hopper needs to be. Once filled these dispense pellets as needed. The majority requires minimal amounts of electricity to run the feeder and blower, but other than that no other energy source is required.
The majority of these pellet systems are powered by electricity so having a consistent power source is important. This can be especially so during a power outage when a back-up system should be in place. One option is to select a system that includes a solar panel backup system. In this way, in an emergency, heat will be the last concern.
The motivation to purchase a Biomass Stove depends on the need. The cost of replacing energy dependent equipment and appliances with energy generating systems makes financial sense in the long-run. Perfect times are when remodeling, during new construction, or when supplementing existing systems. Although they may not be significantly cheaper to run over the course of time, they do ensure cleaner emissions, better efficiency, and will provide a peace-of-mind in knowing that fuel sources will never disappear.