Bob Vila Radio: Pellet Stoves

To increase efficiency in your current fireplace—or replace it altogether—look no further than the pellet stove.

A roaring fire makes for a lovely scene, but fireplaces are notorious energy-wasters. Most of the heat generated by a wood-burning fire goes right up the chimney, and the need to leave the flue open for hours to be sure your fire is completely out only compounds the heat loss. There are a couple of ways to make your fireplace more efficient, but one of my favorites is the pellet stove insert.

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Listen to BOB VILA ON PELLET STOVES or read the text below:

Pellet Stoves

Photo: sites4pros.net

Pellet stoves burn manufactured pellets instead of wood—the pellets are drier and denser than wood, so they burn more efficiently. They can also operate without the constant tending a wood fire requires; just fill the hopper and let the stove do the work of feeding the fire.

Many pellet stoves are freestanding and can be installed almost anywhere in a home, but you may need to install special flooring, a fireproof surround, and a new vent. Other models are designed to fit into an existing fireplace. This has multiple advantages, including being able to use the existing chimney and flue. Pellet stove inserts come in a wide variety of styles, so you can find one to suit your existing fireplace. And once you start using the stove instead of burning wood in the fireplace, you’ll have the warm feeling that comes from saving energy as well as money.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.