Time to Fire Up the Pellet Stove and KOZI Up

| 11/4/2013 3:17:00 PM

Erin BaldwinWe are on our third winter season with our KOZI pellet stove. In my search for heat self-sufficiency, I looked into various options such as wood and pellet stoves. Before purchasing a pellet stove, I relied on a propane furnace and electric baseboards. While wood seemed like a great way to go, being home by myself with little ones during the winter means handling firewood and tending to a fire would require a lot of work on my part.

Pellet stoves burn pellets made of compressed wood byproducts. I am sourcing pellets locally from Hammer Pellet Fuel Co. located in Kenova, West Virginia. The pellets are made from clean sawdust, a byproduct from their lumber operations. Typically, purchasing pellets is slightly more expensive compared to purchasing firewood, but having a source so close makes the price fairly comparable. The pellets are compact and easier than firewood to store and I keep two tons stacked in our basement adjacent to the stove.


Pellet stoves provide the convenience and easy of use comparable to a gas or electric system, but are a little more hands-on. While pellet stoves do require daily tending, in my situation it is much more manageable as I can simply fill the hopper in the morning and leave it virtually unattended. Getting a pellet stove to burn and feed properly does take a little touch, but I have found that once I get it fired up at the beginning of winter it operates smoothly for the season. One tip that I would pass on to those looking to purchase a pellet stove is to burn quality pellets; this has helped our stove burn more effectively and efficiently. At around 40,000 Btu/hr, the addition of this pellet stove to our walk-in basement keeps it warm and helps heat our first story. This has greatly reduced our reliance on propane.

Pellet stoves do require regular cleaning. My cleaning routine includes emptying the burn pot and ash drawer out about once a week, and I do this by letting the fire burn out, the stove cool and then simply vacuuming it out. Other parts of the stove such as the hopper, auger, heat exchanger and glass need to be maintained less often, and I tend to tackle those projects at the beginning of the season and then again a couple of months in.

One downside to pellet stoves is that they require electricity to run properly. I currently have a generator and also hope to soon purchase the battery backup system specific to the stove.

11/5/2013 6:50:19 AM

Erin, no wood stove here. I am such an urbanite. Piped in natural gas heats the house. My first memory of heating the house when a kid was the stove in the living room which heated the living room and dining room. Of course the heat for the kitchen came from the cook stove that had fire in it almost all the time during the day. The bedrooms were not heated which made the dash from the nice warm bed to the front of the heat stove real exciting on those Winter mornings. The heat stoves back then were fired with fuel oil commonly known today as diesel fuel. When I was eight, we moved into a house with propane and we thought we were living in the Ritz. Next stop the big city with natural gas piped right into the house. We were really living high on the hog now. Then my high school years back to the farm we went with propane heat. Never did we consider wood heat except in the kitchen with the old wood burning cook stove at the beginning of my life. However, we mostly burned corn cobs in the stove. ***** Have a great day with the pellet stove.

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