Quiz: How much do you know about wood pellet stoves?

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Quiz: How much do you know about wood pellet stoves?
Image: AP Photo/Lee Marriner

About This Quiz

Have you always wanted to heat your home with wood but hesitated because you think traditional wood heating is too messy or inefficient? Well, results are in on a new way to toast your tootsies. Take this quiz to see whether a wood pellet stove is right for you.
Before the beginning of the 20th century, what percentage of Americans used wood to heat their homes?
50 percent
70 percent
90 percent
About 90 percent of Americans heated their homes with wood before the 20th century.

Advertisement

At the beginning of the energy crisis in the 1970s, what percentage of Americans used wood to heat their homes?
1 percent
By the 1970s, only about 1 percent of Americans used wood to heat their homes.
6 percent
11 percent

Advertisement

What materials are used to make the wood pellets for the stove?
pinecones and pine straw
tree bark and leaves
sawdust and wood shavings
One reason wood pellets are considered environmentally friendly is that they are manufactured from sawdust and wood shavings recycled from sawmills. These byproducts were generally considered waste before the inception of pellet stoves.

Advertisement

What do the wood pellets look like?
marbles
rabbit food
The wood pellets are shaped like rabbit food and are easy and cheap to manufacture.
quarters

Advertisement

How are the wood pellets transferred from the hopper where they are stored to where they are burned?
by auger
An internal auger automatically moves pellets from the hopper to the burn pot.
by conveyor belt
manually with a scoop

Advertisement

How is a thermostat used to control the temperature of the wood pellet stove?
It controls the rate of the auger that feeds pellets to the fire.
A thermostat controls the speed of the auger that moves the pellets from the hopper to the burn pot. The size of the fire in the burn pot increases the faster it receives fuel.
It turns the blower in the room on and off as required.
It turns the blower in the stove on and off as required.

Advertisement

What is the function of the burn pot?
acts as a governor
acts as a carburetor
The burn pot in a pellet stove acts as a carburetor. Just as a carburetor does in a car engine, the burn pot mixes air and fuel to create combustion.
acts as a fireplace grate

Advertisement

By what process does a pellet stove heat a room?
conduction
convection
Pellet stoves heat rooms by convection. In this case, convection occurs by taking cool room air and heating it as it passes over a fire.
radiation

Advertisement

To insure the best performance of your pellet stove, what part requires periodic cleaning?
ash pot
The pellets are highly compressed, so they contain little moisture and burn cleanly. Because the fire is so clean and hot, the only thing you have to worry about cleaning is the ash pot.
auger
hopper

Advertisement

What keeps the stove's exterior from getting hot?
extra insulation
exhaust blower
heat exchanger
The room blower takes cool air from the room and forces it through the heat exchanger inside the stove. The heat blowing into the room originates from the heat exchanger instead of the stove surface, which allows the exterior of the stove to remain cool.

Advertisement

Why might you consider the insert model of pellet stove?
It fits into an older wood stove.
It fits into an existing fireplace.
An insert pellet stove will fit into an existing fireplace and uses the same chimney.
It fits into an existing furnace.

Advertisement

Which pellet feed and hopper position is usually the most efficient?
top feed
Although different feed methods and positions have their advantages, a top feed method is likely to be most efficient.
bottom feed
side feed

Advertisement

Regarding pellet stoves, what does the term manual ignition mean?
The stove is lit using kindling.
The stove is lit using a liquid or gel.
A manual ignition stove uses a special liquid or gel starter fluid to ignite the pellets.
The stove is lit using newspaper.

Advertisement

What is a disadvantage of a pellet stove as compared to a traditional wood stove?
The pellet stove requires electricity to operate.
The pellet stove requires electricity to operate. If you want the stove to work during a power failure, you would need a generator or other power source.
The pellets cost more than firewood.
The pellet stove takes up more space than a fireplace.

Advertisement

In general, environmentalists consider the pellet stove to __________.
have a small carbon footprint
be carbon neutral
Environmentalists consider the pellet stove to be carbon neutral because the pellets are manufactured from trees that used carbon.
have a large carbon footprint

Advertisement

Which is NOT an important consideration before purchasing a pellet stove?
location of the chimney
You should verify that you'll have a steady supply of pellet fuel in your area, and make sure that the floors of your home can handle the weight of the wood pellet stove.
steady supply of pellet fuel
structural support for the weight of the stove

Advertisement

What is the typical overall efficiency rate of a high-quality pellet stove?
50 to 80 percent
75 to 90 percent
Quality pellet stoves will have an efficiency rating of between 75 and 90 percent. This efficiency rating is printed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sticker attached to the stove.
90 to 95 percent

Advertisement

In what range of heating capacity, measured in British thermal units (Btu), do most pellet stoves fall?
10,000 to 30,000
40,000 to 60,000
Although wood pellet stoves are available in heating ranges from 8,000 to 90,000 Btu, the most common heating capacity falls between 40,000 and 60,000 Btu.
70,000 to 90,000

Advertisement

What's a good rule of thumb for selecting the appropriate size of your pellet stove?
output of 5,000 British thermal units (Btu) per 200 square feet (18.4 square meters)
Choose the stove based on the size of the room. Consumer Reports recommends an average output of 5,000 Btu from the stove for 200 square feet (18.4 square meters) of space.
output of 5,000 British thermal units (Btu) per 500 square feet (46 square meters)
output of 10,000 British thermal units (Btu) per 200 square feet (18.4 square meters)

Advertisement

In the U.S., what is the best way to ensure that you are purchasing a quality stove?
Look for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sticker on the stove.
A stove that passes all required inspections will have a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sticker affixed. Most other countries will have a similar certification program.
Look for the gold seal of approval pasted on the hopper lid.
Buy only from an authorized dealer.

Advertisement

You Got:
/20
AP Photo/Lee Marriner

Featured