(StatePoint) When temperatures drop, household use of fossil fuels rises in order to keep homes warm and comfortable. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, more than one million households nationwide already heat with biomass pellet stoves rather than burn more expensive and damaging fossil fuels like oil — and such stoves can even be retrofitted into existing fireplaces as an insert.
If you’re not familiar with pellet products, here’s what you need to know:
What’s a Pellet Stove?
Pellet stoves burn uniform cylinders of composite biomass fuel to create a steady, warming fire. Pellets are loaded into the stove hopper and automatically fed into the stove burn pot.
Pellet composition varies depending on regional resources, but is typically comprised of a mix of sawdust, waste paper, residual forest waste and agricultural by-products.
How They Help
Pellet stoves are great for the environment and your wallet in many ways. A few include:
• Pellet stoves are already saving 4.5 million tons of carbon emissions, according to the Pellet Fuels Institute.
• Each installation of a pellet or wood appliance in a single-family home in a cool climate can displace between four and seven tons of carbon emissions annually, estimates the Alliance for Green Heat — about three times the impact of buying a hybrid car, for roughly half the cost.
• Biomass fuels are constantly replenished and reforested and absorb nearly as much carbon growing as they give off when burned. The result is a virtually invisible carbon footprint.
• Pellet stoves cost 64 percent less to operate than heating your home with oil, 47 percent less than propane and 54 percent less than electrical heat. For those thinking long-term, this represents a two to five year payback.
What to Know
Pellet stoves are available both as a freestanding appliance or an insert in an existing fireplace, making most homes a candidate for this supplemental heating source.
New models are environmentally responsible and also easily fit into busy lifestyles. The Harman Absolute43 features an intuitive Easy Touch Control that tells you when to add fuel, perform maintenance, and much more, making heating with pellets easier than ever. To learn more about heating your home with renewable materials, visit www.harmanstoves.com.
To reduce your home’s carbon footprint, look to heating alternatives that burn renewable materials rather than precious fossils fuels. With a pellet or wood-burning stove, you will be able to lower your utility budget while adding ambiance to your living spaces.