Pellet stoves are solid fuel burning appliances that can be used to generate heat for a home.
Pellet stoves are considered to be the most efficient form of home solid fuel heating appliance, meaning that they have the potential to generate a lot of heat from every piece of pellet fuel.
However, using a pellet stove incorrectly or not using them to their full potential could mean that you’re missing out on more warmth for your home.
To help make a pellet stove burn hotter and to get more heat from a pellet stove:
- Burn high quality pellets low in ash and moisture content.
- Increase the heat output setting on the stove.
- Increase the blower speed on the stove.
- Adjust the airflow in and out of the stove.
- Clean the stove regularly in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
We’ve explained each of the above in more detail below using our own pellet stove as an example.
How To Get More Heat From A Pellet Stove
1) Burn High Quality Pellets
Pellets are the fuel used to generate heat from the fire inside a pellet stove and are often found made from wood by-products.
The quality of the pellets can make a significant impact on how much heat can be extracted from them and therefore how much heat a pellet stove can produce overall.
Lower quality pellets (that may be higher in ash and moisture content) can be harder to burn and less heat can be released as a result.
When moisture content is higher in solid fuels more energy can be required by a fire to burn off the excess moisture before the fuel can be properly combusted, typically leading to a poorer burning experience with reduced heat output.
Burning higher quality pellets on the other hand (that can be lower in ash and moisture content) can be easier for a fire to burn and more heat can be released.
When using a pellet stove it’s therefore always recommended to burn the quality of pellets that the manufacturer recommends, or burning the highest quality pellets available to you if not stated in the manual.
For example, the manufacturer of our pellet stove requests that we only burn wood pellets that meet Class A1 requirements.
This means that the pellets have met stricter guidelines for quality, such as maximum ash and moisture contents.
We therefore burn the good quality pellets that meet these requirements and our pellet stove is able to burn them extremely well with minimal ash production and pellet wastage.
If you’re looking to get the most heat out of your pellet stove then look to burn good quality pellets that are lower in moisture and ash content so that your pellet stove can combust them efficiently and effectively.
2) Increase The Heat Output
Pellet stoves are highly automated forms of heating appliance and will control the rate at which the pellets are fed to the fire for optimum burning efficiency and heat output.
One of the settings found on a pellet stove will provide the ability to increase the heat output from the stove, or for more modern forms of stove the ability to increase the desired room temperature which in turn can increase heat output.
To get more heat from a pellet stove look to increase the heat setting.
This heat setting can often be found as part of the controls on the side of a pellet stove, with buttons to increase or decrease the amount of heat the stove is producing.
On other, more modern pellet stoves with touch screen controls, this temperature increase can be undertaken by increasing the desired room temperature setting on the stove.
For example, the controls on our pellet stove come in the form of a touch screen at the top of the stove. One of the settings on our stove is the ability to increase the proposed room temperature.
The stove has a built-in room temperature sensor and so can continuously read the current room temperature and ensure that the stove brings the room up to the desired temperature and keeps it there.
To increase the heat output from our own pellet stove we therefore simply increase this temperature setting.
To generate more heat, a pellet stove would increase the airflow and pellet supply to the fire, up the maximum potential heat output for that particular model of stove.
To help your pellet stove to generate more heat, increase the heat output setting on the stove or raise the room temperature setting.
3) Increase The Blower Speed
Pellet stoves use distribution blowers to help disperse the heat from the fire inside the stove to the room.
Pellet stoves commonly have settings for the blower speed alongside settings for the heat output.
The blower settings on a pellet stove can therefore be used in conjunction with the heat output setting to maximise the overall heat output from a pellet stove. A pellet stove set at a higher blower setting can push the heat further out into the room.
The blower settings for a pellet stove may be found as buttons on the side of the unit.
For pellet stove with touch screen controls the blower speed may be found within the settings. The blower speed can often be left on ‘Auto’, but it may be possible to override this setting to increase the blower speed depending on what is possible with a particular model of pellet stove.
We typically leave the blower speed on Auto on our pellet stove and only increase the heat output by raising the desired room temperature.
To help increase the heat output from a pellet stove look to increase the blower speed if possible, within the settings, to help maximise how much heat is being dispersed into the room.
You can read more about the blowers/fans inside a pellet stove in another one of our articles.
4) Adjust The Airflow
Increasing the amount of oxygen getting to a fire in a pellet stove can lead to a hotter and faster burning fire with increased heat output as a result.
Certain models of pellet stove can have a damper than can be manually controlled to adjust the airflow through the stove. Opening up this damper can increase airflow to the fire and lead to a hotter and faster burning flame.
Other models of pellet stove (like ours) will have the airflow controlled automatically from the combustion blower and can’t be manually controlled.
When the desired room temperature is increased on our pellet stove the stove automatically adjusts the airflow along with the pellet feed rate to increase the heat output.
If your pellet stove has a manually operated damper it can be used to increase the airflow to the fire and help with increased heat output.
5) Clean The Stove
Pellet stoves can be highly automated home heating appliances that do much of the work for you but this can come at a cost of higher maintenance and cleaning requirements.
A pellet stove that hasn’t been cleaned can be less efficient and produce less heat compared to a pellet stove that has been cleaned regularly in line with what the manufacturer recommends.
Pellet stoves often require daily, weekly, seasonal and annual cleaning.
For example, we’re required to clean out the ash tray and burn pot before each fire and clean out the pellet hopper periodically to keep on top of dust build-up.
Not following these cleaning procedures can lead to a poorer burning experience with less heat being produced. A blocked burn pot can reduce airflow while a blocked auger can reduce pellet supply, both affecting heat output.
Keeping on top of cleaning your pellet stove won’t increase heat output but will help ensure that it’s maximized and not reduced.