Typically, the fuel you burn in a pellet stove consists of compressed recycled wood fibers. You can add different types of pellets to a pellet stove, so which one is suitable for your appliance? Keep reading to learn the various fuels you can use in your pellet stove to determine which one is the best for you and your budget.
Premium Wood Pellets
The highest quality pellets you can purchase are of premium grade. This fuel will generally be low in moisture and ash content, allowing your pellet stove to burn pellets more cleanly and efficiently. The higher the fuel quality, the more heat your appliance will give off. Please note that these pellets will be more expensive, but they’re worth the investment in keeping your pellet stove running effectively.
Standard Wood Pellets
When premium wood pellets are outside your current budget, you can always consider standard wood pellets. These pellets typically have slightly more ash content, so the fuel will leave behind more ash inside your stove. This is still a quality wood pellet, but you may need to clean out your appliance more frequently to ensure it’s working efficiently.
Small Wood Chips
Usually, pellets are the fuel used in pellet stoves, but you could utilize smaller wood chips when you’re in a pinch. Wood chips, however, force the homeowner to negate the automatic feeding system because the chips could clog the hopper. Therefore, you will need to feed the wood chips directly into the combustion chamber. Keep in mind that this fuel will not burn effectively and produce more waste. If you cannot add fuel directly to the combustion chamber on your pellet stove, you cannot use wood chips.
Corn Kernels or Nutshells
You do have the option to burn other biomass fuels in your pellet stoves, such as corn kernels or nutshells. However, not all pellet stoves can burn these types of fuel. Corn kernels have natural sugar that can blacken or coat the glass and walls of your appliance. Consult the manufacturer of your pellet stove before using this fuel to ensure you can burn it.
So, what’s the bottom line? Out of all the different types of pellets you can burn in your pellet stove, premium-grade pellets are your best choice for fuel. If you use wood chips, corn kernels, or nutshells, you could risk damaging your appliance, requiring a more frequent pellet stove service to clean and repair the stove.
If you’re unsure which fuel is appropriate for your specific pellet stove, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember, fuel with low moisture and ash content will burn the cleanest and most efficiently.