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?
About 90 percent of Americans heated their homes with wood before the 20th century.
At the beginning of the energy crisis in the 1970s, what percentage of Americans used wood to heat their homes?
By the 1970s, only about 1 percent of Americans used wood to heat their homes.
What materials are used to make the wood pellets for the stove?
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.
What do the wood pellets look like?
The wood pellets are shaped like rabbit food and are easy and cheap to manufacture.
How are the wood pellets transferred from the hopper where they are stored to where they are burned?
An internal auger automatically moves pellets from the hopper to the burn pot.
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.
What is the function of the burn pot?
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
By what process does a pellet stove heat a room?
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.
To insure the best performance of your pellet stove, what part requires periodic cleaning?
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.
What keeps the stove's exterior from getting hot?
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.
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.
Which pellet feed and hopper position is usually the most efficient?
Although different feed methods and positions have their advantages, a top feed method is likely to be most efficient.
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.
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.
In general, environmentalists consider the pellet stove to __________.
have a small carbon footprint
Environmentalists consider the pellet stove to be carbon neutral because the pellets are manufactured from trees that used carbon.
have a large carbon footprint
Which is NOT an important consideration before purchasing a pellet stove?
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
What is the typical overall efficiency rate of a high-quality pellet stove?
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.
In what range of heating capacity, measured in British thermal units (Btu), do most pellet stoves fall?
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.
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)
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.
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AP Photo/Lee Marriner