Pellet stoves are a type of solid fuel burning fireplace that, like traditional wood burning stoves, generate heat for a home through the combustion of solid fuel.
Not all types of fireplace will generate a real flame. For example, electric fireplaces don’t have any real flames and produce an imitation of flickering flames through an array of lights and rotating mirrors, and so do pellet stoves have a flame and is it real?
Pellet stoves produce real flames through the combustion of solid fuel. Fuel in the form of pellets are burnt within the combustion chamber of a pellet stove and the flames can be viewed through the glass located at the front of the stove.
Our own pellet stove produces real flames, and we can enjoy them through the glass front of the stove when it’s on and generating heat for our living room.
To explain more about the flames in a pellet stove we’ve gone through the following in more detail below using our own pellet stove as an example:
- Where the flame can be found within a pellet stove.
- How air and fuel are supplied to keep the flames going in a pellet stove.
Do Pellet Stoves Have A Flame?
All pellet stoves will have a flame, which is typically located right at the front of the stove.
Flames within pellet stoves will be located within the combustion chamber.
For example, the combustion chamber on our own model of pellet stove is located in the middle of the front of the stove.
Access to the combustion chamber of our pellet stove where the fire is located is achieved by opening the stove door.
Pellet stoves are more automated forms of heating appliance compared to traditional wood burning stoves and the doors to combustion chambers won’t need to be opened during fires in order to add more fuel. The fuel in the form of pellets is delivered to the combustion chamber automatically from the hopper within a pellet stove.
The flames can therefore typically be viewed through the glass panel located on the front of the stove, which in the case of our own pellet stove is integrated into the door.
The glass door on our pellet stove has a gasket seal to ensure that no excess air is getting to the flames in the combustion chamber apart from through the dedicated air vent at the back.
The flames within the combustion chamber of a pellet stove will be found rising from within the small combustion area of the whole combustion chamber.
As pellets for pellet stoves are highly compacted forms of fuel, there doesn’t need to be many pellets burning within this combustion area at any one time.
Fuel For Pellet Stove Flames
Fuel to keep the real flames going in a pellet stove is delivered to the combustion area from the hopper.
In the case of our pellet stove, the hopper is located at the top of the stove and pellets fall down a chute from the hopper into the small combustion area where the fire is located.
A motorized auger located within the hopper of a pellet stoves automatically feeds fuel to the flames as and when required to keep the flames burning at an optimal rate.
Air Supply For Pellet Stove Flames
The flames within the combustion area of a pellet stove will be fed with a dedicated air supply.
The fresh air vent for our stove is located at the back and feeds air to the underside of the flames.
Venting Pellet Stove Flames
As the flames in a pellet stove are real, adequate venting must be provided to ensure that all waste air leaves a home through a suitable flue.
Waste air from a fire in the combustion chamber will leave through a dedicated vent, which in the case of our pellet stove is located at the top of the chamber.
Pellet Stove Flame Ignition
The flames in our pellet stove are started by ignition of the pellets from below the combustion area.
The manual for particular model of pellet stove explains:
‘The initial ignition of the pellets is carried out by hot air, which is sucked in around the ignition in the combustion chamber through the fume extractor.’Victoria-05
Pellet Stove Flame Characteristics
The flames on a pellet stove will change through from ignition to normal operation.
The initial flames in a pellet stove may be small and choppy to start with but once normal operation of the stove has resumed pellet stove flames should be full and bright.
The flames in a pellet stove may change depending on whether:
- The fire is being supplied with too much oxygen.
- The flames aren’t receiving enough air.
- The fuel is of good or poor quality.
In more modern, electronically operated models of pellet stove, the flames will typically be adjusted by the stove itself using a range of sensors, but on older models of pellet stove a damper may need to be manually adjusted to change the airflow through the stove and therefore the size and ferocity of the flames.
A ‘choppy’ flame in a pellet stove can be as a result of too much air being supplied to the combustion chamber.
A ‘lazy’ flame in a pellet stove can be due to too little air or poor quality pellets being burnt.
The video below highlights the various flames that can be experienced with a pellet stove.