November 20, 2015
Author: Michael Martina
Sustainable and renewable home technologies have been on the rise, with a surge of solar panel, insulation, and smart thermostat installations. One of the fastest growing trends in the sustainable housing sector has been the pellet stove, which now makes up one-third of all wood stove sales in the United States. In a side-by-side test, six of the most popular pellet stoves in the U.S. market were tested under real-world conditions. Many models don’t live up to advertised efficiencies.
In total, 2.9 million homes in the United States, roughly 2 percent, use wood heat. Among those homes which do use wood heat, the largest percentage of use is by those on the lower-end of the income spectrum. Pellet and wood stoves are growing exponentially in popularity as well; last year, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) reported that wood heat saw a 50 percent jump in 2013 in the New England region alone. There are approximately one million pellet stoves in use today, which is 2 to 3 times greater than the number of residential solar panel installations. In general, the U.S. pellet stove market has lagged behind Europe. Italy alone sells just as many pellet stoves as the entire United States, despite only having 20 percent of the population.