Pellet stoves are a form of stove that are solid fuel burning appliances but differ considerably compared to traditional wood burning stoves because of the number of electrical components needed for a pellet stove to work.
Pellet stoves use a fairly complex array of electronic components and sensor to help be a more automated form of stove that doesn’t require much attention to keep a fire going.
All of these components are hidden behind the metal body of a pellet stove and so what’s actually inside a pellet stove?
The main components to be found inside a pellet stove include the combustion chamber and the pellet hopper. There’s also typically open space to help with airflow and a number of electronic components can be found including a blower, fume extractor, control panel, auger and plug socket.
Our pellet stove contains all of the main components typically found within a pellet stove and many can be seen inside thanks to the slats within the body of the stove used for airflow.
To help explain what you can expect to find in a pellet stove we’ve put this article together and shown in more detail below what’s exactly inside our own pellet stove.
What’s Inside A Pellet Stove
In order for a pellet stove to operate as designed, including being able to undertake the automated process of feeding fuel in the form of pellets to generate heat without any user input, pellet stoves require a number of integrated components.
These components will be hidden behind the shell of a pellet stove and the number of parts required means that pellet stoves are typically big appliances as a result.
The main components that you’ll typically find within a pellet stove can include:
- Combustion chamber
- Auger with motor
- Control panel
- Fume extractor with flue socket
- Air vent
- Blower with motor & associated ducting
There’s also typically plenty of open space within a pellet stove to aid in airflow and cooling of these components.
The pellet stove that we’ll be using as an example of what to expect inside a pellet stove is our own pellet stove that we’ve had installed within our living room.
Inside Pellet Stove Combustion Chamber
The main area that you’ll find in a pellet stove is the combustion chamber.
The combustion chamber is where the fire burns and where the pellets are added from the hopper.
A pellet stove combustion chamber will be found located at the front of the stove.
The combustion chamber will be located behind a glass door, which has a gasket to help keep the chamber airtight.
The main components that you’ll find within the combustion chamber of a pellet stove include:
- Combustion area
- Ash tray
- Hopper auger chute outlet
Pellets burn within a relatively small area of the combustion chamber. The hole at the base of this area is the air intake coming from the back of the stove.
Pellets from the hopper fall into the combustion chamber from the hopper through the hole located just above the combustion area.
Just below this actual combustion area is the ash tray, which in the case of our pellet stove is removable.
At the top of the combustion chamber can be a couple of baffles.
Inside Pellet Stove Hopper
The hopper on a pellet stove is where the pellets are stored ready for burning.
Pellet stoves differ from traditional wood stoves in that the fuel doesn’t need to be manually added to the fire. Pellets can be added to a pellet stove hopper and will be automatically fed to the combustion chamber throughout a fire for optimum heat output and efficiency.
Pellet stoves can either be bottom-fed or top-fed, and in the case of our own pellet stove the hopper is located at the top of the stove and pellets are fed to the combustion down the chute.
The hopper in our pellet stove can be reached from the top and the lid to the hopper can be manually taken off to gain access.
The inside of the hopper in our pellet stove is just a compartment lined with metal sheeting with a grille at the top of the hopper in the opening (that isn’t removable).
The black object located within the hopper of our pellet stove is the auger.
Inside Pellet Stove Auger
The auger on a pellet stove delivers the fuel in the form of pellets from the hopper to the combustion chamber to be burnt to produce heat.
The auger can be seen at the base of the hopper in our pellet stove and picks up pellets from right at the bottom of the hopper and feeds them up to the chute that delivers them to the combustion chamber
This auger can also be seen from the bottom of the chute in the combustion chamber.
As pellet stoves are automated electronic appliances, many of the systems found on a pellet stove are electronically controlled. This includes the auger, which is controlled from the central control using sensors to deliver only the right number of pellets to the combustion chamber that are necessary for the most efficient heat output.
The motor driving the auger, which is located under the hopper in our pellet stove, can be seen through the back of the stove.
Inside Pellet Stove Control Panel
The control panel on our pellet stove is located at the top of the stove, above the hopper.
There isn’t much to see with the control panel as it’s fairly small.
Inside Pellet Stove Fume Extractor & Flue Socket
Pellet stoves are solid fuel burning appliances and waste air from a pellet stove must be sufficiently vented from a home in order to be in compliance with local building regulations.
Air from the combustion chamber is extracted out of a stove using the fume extractor, which creates a vacuum within the combustion chamber and allows fresh air to the sucked into the stove through the air vent.
The fume extractor on our pellet stove is located beneath the combustion chamber and is hidden behind the front lower panel.
However, the fume extractor can be seen inside our pellet stove looking through the back.
The fume extractor in a pellet stove will be connected to the flue socket.
The flue socket on a pellet stove will in turn be connected up the flue that will take waste air from a stove out of a home.
The flue socket is located on the back of our pellet stove.
The flue extractor can be seen looking down the inside of the flue socket.
Inside Pellet Stove Air Vent
A pellet stove is a sealed system where all of the fresh air going in will be through a dedicated air vent. The front door of a pellet stove will have a gasket seal to help.
As with many pellet stoves, the air vent on our stove is located at the back.
Depending on the situation and what manufacturers, and building codes and regulations require, this air vent can be left as is and take air from the room or can be extended out an external wall of a building to take fresh air directly from outside.
In our particular model of pellet stove this air vent travels from the back of the stove to the combustion chamber through a flexible tube.
Inside Pellet Stove Blower
Compared to traditional wood burning stoves, pellet stoves can rely less on radiating heat out into a room through the body of the stove and more on convention of hot air.
Pellet stoves therefore typically have an integrated blower that forces cool air around the combustion chamber to provide hot air out the front of the stove.
The blower in our pellet stove can be found just below and behind the combustion chamber.
This blower brings in cooler air from through the vents in the back of our pellet stove and sends the air around the back and up over the top of the combustion chamber. As the air travels around is heats up and warm air is blown into the room through the front.
Air from the blower comes out the top of our pellet stove through a grille at the front.
Heatsinks can be seen behind this grille, which help to give off more heat from the combustion chamber to heat up the air.
Pellet Stove Venting Requirements
Can You Burn Wood In A Pellet Stove?