Using stoves that burn pellet fuel is a simple, modern way to heat your home. Burning pellet fuel not only saves you money on heating bills but also helps the environment because the fuel is made from compressed, recycled biomass. Even if you do not have a pellet stove, you can still burn pellet fuel in your wood stove or fireplace. All you need is a metal pellet basket insert that sits inside your current heating appliance and allows you to take advantage of the savings and energy efficiency.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Wood stove or fireplace tools
- Pellet basket insert
Measure the dimensions of the inside of your wood stove or fireplace. Purchase a pellet basket insert based on these measurements. Leave enough open space on the sides and bottom of the basket insert for airflow and extra space above for the flames to burn.
Wait until your wood stove or fireplace is completely cold. Shovel out all the ashes and sweep it clean. Remove any grates or other accessories inside. You may have to remove hardware if the grate is bolted or screwed in place.
Place the pellet basket insert into the empty wood stove or fireplace. If the bottom of the basket is slanted, it should angle from high in front to low in back. Its legs should be level and no part of the basket should extend beyond the front. The fireplace doors should close easily with a few inches between the door and the pellet basket insert.
Tips and warnings
- To use the insert, fill the basket to the top with pellet fuel. If the basket slants, slant the top of the pellets so they are parallel to the bottom of the basket. Any pellets that fall through the basket can remain on the bottom of the wood stove or fireplace. When they burn they will contribute to the ember bed. Use gel starter or another method to ignite the top layer of pellets.
- Let the fireplace go cold and remove all the pellet ashes daily. Remove the pellet basket insert and sweep the wood stove or fireplace clean.
- Some pellet basket inserts are designed to be used outdoors as well.
- Never use a pellet basket insert in a gas fireplace.
- Exercise the utmost care when working with an open fire of any kind. Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach of any open flames. Never allow pets or children near fires.
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