Are pellet stoves safe?
All heating appliances have safety standards and it takes center stage when discussing them, and pellet stoves are no different. Small pellet stoves are different from the traditional and conventional stoves, they are different not just on their design but also when it comes to their safety standards. Pellet stoves are safer than traditional and conventional stoves, but that does not mean that there are no precautions when using them. Pellet stoves are used for secondary heating, in some homes, they are the primary source of heat. The risk of using pellet stoves are just the same, whether you are using them as the primary or the secondary heating sources. Most of the issues that are experienced with pellet stoves can be because of installation mishaps. For example, if the hopper of the pellet stove is not installed correctly, there is a massive chance that the pellets will catch fire. This can be very dangerous as it can make the whole house catch fire. This is the reason why the stove needs to be installed by a professional. The professional that installs stoves should be certified or licensed to do installations. Improper installation can result in fire, smoke damage and even carbon monoxide poisoning. This should be avoided at all costs.
Are Pellet Stoves Safe?
Compared to the traditional and conventional stoves, pellet stoves are very safe. The safety of pellet stoves are based on the fact that they do not produce a lot of smoke. The pellets used are very efficient, so it produces a lot of heat and a little smoke. In fact, it can be difficult to realize that pellet stoves are producing smoke at all. The small amount of gas and smoke that is produced is vented through a pipe that runs directly to the outside of the house. This then eliminates the need to have a massive masonry chimney for the stove.
Using a pellet stove is not uncommon, since there are a lot of homeowners that uses pellet stoves as their primary or secondary heat source especially during the cooler months. Pellet stoves are convenient and economical, it is very important to follow some critical guidelines and safety precautions when you are installing and operating them. First, the pellet stove installation should only be performed by a licensed and/or certified professional installer.
Improper installation of pellet stoves can lead to fire, smoke damage and/or carbon monoxide poisoning. You need to make sure that your installer obtains a permit when insalling a pellet stove. This will help ensure that the installation is done properly and will meet current building codes. You also need to be very careful when you are near a pellet stove so that you can avoid burns and other accidents. You also need to be careful when you are near the glass on the front. You also need to take precautions for younger children and pets who are at greater risk of getting burned.
You can also install carbon monoxide detectors to alert you when there are potentially dangerous carbon monoxide levels inside your house. You also need to dispose the ashes safely. You can place the ashes in a metal container with a lid. Do not put the ashes in garbage cans or near combustible items. Store the containers outside and away from your house. Once you have your pellet stove installed, you need to have it inspected regularly. It is in order to ensure that it is functioning properly.
Look for pellet burn back, which usually occurs when the fire burns back into the hopper. You can confirm that you are using the correct fuel type recommended by the manufacturer. You need to inspect your combustion chamber for damage and look for corrosion or damage to the vent. Also, be sure to keep the stove at least three or more feet away from combustibles. You need to follow the insturcitons of the manufacturer for use and maintenance and you need to schedule a routine maintenance to be performed by a professional. And you need to remember to use only recommended pellets. Use the type of pellets indicated in the manual, like the premium, standard and all the others that are classified by ash content to help your stove operate safely and efficiently. Poor efficiency creates more smoke.
What if the power goes out?
Pellet stoves require electricity to feed the pellets into the stove and for it to run fans, so your pellet stove will not provide any heat without a source of electricity. A power outage can cut the air supply and it can cause smoke to pour into the house. If the power goes out, make sure that your stove has a battery backup to keep the fans running long enough to consume the pellets in the combustion chamber. You can use a surge protector to help protect the electronic controls on you pellet stove from voltage surges associated with power fluctuations or other grid disruptions.
The benefits of pellet stove
If you buy used pellet stove or move into a home that has a pellet stove already installed, you need to make sure that you have a professional fully inspect the unit and the chimney before you use it. Pre-existing damage or older technology could start a fire or cause smoke damage. Self standing heating devices such as pellet stoves and space heaters are attributors to the one third of reported U.S home heating fires in 2007-2011. As with any method of home heating, there is a risk involved with pellet stove that is used and that is borne out by the weekley news stories about house fires. So are pellet stoves rellay safe? The answer is conditional. The interpretation of the meaning safe relates to which aspect of the pellet stove operation will lead to the start of fire.
A common thinking is that fire starts because of incompletely combusted pellets or a build-up of creosote. From a statistical standpoint, pellet stoves are safe. Pellet stoves are equipped with numerous safetly features that are designed to protect consumers. Temperature sensors, vacuum switches and other features that are built-in can help ensure that any significant deviation from the intended functions of the stove will be stopped. But of course, just like the other appliances, pellet stove safety is related to how the user treats his appliance especially during operation as well as the soundness of its installation. All the pellet stove owners should take the time to learn about safe operation practices and familiarize themselves with how a pellet stove works.
Purchasing Used Pellet Stoves
It is essential that you install a noncombustible hearth pad for your pellet stove. You can make this hearth pad yourself by using the concrete backer board. If you are not the “do it yourself” type of person, then you can easily obtain a hearth pad online or request it from your stove supplier.
The Matter Of Maintenance
An important factor that is stressed when addressin the question of how safe are pellet stoves is maintenance. A well maintained and frequently cleaned pellet stove will rarely cause problems. Proper maintenance would minimize the buildup of ash or creosote in the chimney which may cause a chimney fire. If the pellet stove owner schedules a regular cleaning, checking for ash and creosote buildip, emptying ash pans and cleaning filters and is very diligent about it, the risk of fire is greatly reduced. Proper maintenance instructions of any pellet stove may be found in its pellet stove owner’s manual. One important point that is oftened overlooked when addressing the safety of pellet stoves is the need for the constant availability of electrical power that is necessary to operate the pellet stove. As discussed above, in case that the pellet stove becomes deprived of its electricity, the motors will cease to function instantly.
The stove will then lose its ability to turn on or to auto ignite. The most concerning scenario about this though, is that losing power while the pellet stove is in full operation. This can cause a very dangerous puff-back that can endanger you, your home and your belongings. The result is a sticky, odorous soot that ends up deposited on all exposed surfaces of a dwelling. To prevent this from happening, one of the most reliable ways is to install a pellet stove battery backup, as discussed above.
When AC power is present, it charges the battery and operates your stove as usual. As soon as the AC power goes out, the battery backup system takes over and your stove continues operating without missing a beat. Installing an emergency battery backup for your pellet stove adds a level of safety and reliability that become invaluable.
Exposures caused by the absence of heat
Finally, while pellet stoves may be safe when the proper precautions are taken, the situation can become dangerous when the power is out for hours or even days at a time. Water may freeze, pipes may burst, and the homeowner’s exposure to cold. As discussed above, pellet stoves need electrical power to operate. If your pellet stove is the only means of heating in your home and an alternative power source is unavailable, you may be exposing yourself to a dangerous situation in the cold winter months, especially during storms when risk of power outages increase. A pellet stove battery backup is an effective way to prevent this scenario. You can expect the battery to operate your pellet stove for up to 8 hours with a 120 AMP hour battery and up to 24 hours with a 360 AMP hour expanded battery bank.
Pellet stoves are like vehicles, they are as safe as you make them. Your vehicle will not be as safe if you never have it maintained. You can also add imporant safety features in your vehicle to increase its safety standard and reliablity, the same applies to pellet stoves that is used at home.