Modern home design changes rapidly and generally moves in the direction of complex computerization. For example, homes across the world are becoming ‘smarter’ as people opt for appliances with Wi-Fi capabilities they can control with their smartphone.
With smart thermostats that manage your HVAC system automatically and can be controlled with a mobile app, you might be surprised to see wood stoves making their way into modern design. It sounds strange at first, but pellet stoves are once again part of modern home technology.
Heating and cooking technology can’t get any more basic than pure fire, which is exactly the technology offered by wood stoves. While these stoves look and feel old-timey, they are exceptionally easy to integrate into modern interior design.
Here are the top reasons homeowners are embracing this old, but reliable technology.
Pellet stoves make a home look classy
Although some pellet stoves look like your typical cast iron wood stove, modern designers have found a way to make them look elegant. For example, people build elegant fireplace-like areasspecifically designed to house a pellet stove. These areas look just like a fireplace with a decorative mantle and hearth except there is no place to burn logs – the wood stove sits right in the middle.
Some designers get really creative and instead of building a fireplace-like area, they cut away a small section of wall with an arched top that looks like a miniature doorway (without the door). These designs are usually made with brick or stone trim around the edges and are fully vented through the roof.
Pellet stoves are environmentally-friendly
Homes heated by traditional furnaces and boilers aren’t energy-efficient. For example, up to 35% of energy produced by a furnace canescape through ducts located in unconditioned spaces like attics and garages.
According to energy.gov, EPA-certified pellet stoves are between 70-83% efficient and can heat small and large homes alike. Pellet stoves are also cheaper to install than traditional wood stoves. If you already have a fireplace, you can get a pellet stove insert and save even more money on installation costs.
Pellets are a cheap source of fuel
Even with a well-insulated home full of top-of-the-line energy-efficient electric appliances, a pellet stove is cheaper to fuel. Instead of an electric bill the size of your paycheck, you’ll probably pay around $10 per month to run the electric fan in your pellet stove.
As for the pellets, you’ll paybetween $5-$10 per 40-pound bag and you can expect to spend around $30 per month on pellets to heat your home.
You have some control over the temperature
A central heating system is designed to blow out hot air at the same temperature until the system’s thermometer reaches the temperature set on your thermostat. Central heat might be technologically advanced in some ways, but there’s no way to adjust the temperature of the heat.
After you’ve used a pellet stove for a while, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature of your fire according to your preferences. For example, you can control the temperature by adjusting how fast pellets are dropped into the combustion chamber and adjusting the airflow controls.
Pellet wood stoves require little work to run
It doesn’t take much work to run a pellet stove. Once you fill the hopper with pellets, they’ll be automatically fed into the combustion chamber from the hopper. You don’t have to get down on your knees or grab new logs to keep a pellet stove going. You just need to watch the hopper and refill as needed. Generally speaking, hoppers can hold about a day’s worth of pellets.
To start your fire, some stoves come with an automatic ignition switch. Otherwise, you’ll need to start the fire (safety first!) with a few pellets in the burn pot and monitor it until it starts growing.
Pellet stoves can be powered with a backup power source
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to use your pellet stove in a power outage, fear not. You can implement a backup power system for your stove with a battery or mini generator.
As an extended precaution, you can always buy a standard wood stove to keep on hand just in case the power and your backup power system(s) fail.
You can connect your central heating system to a generator during a power outage, but you’ll use far more gas than it’s worth. In this context, pellet stoves are technologically superior and it makes sense that they’ve resurfaced as part of modern design.