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Free-standing pellet stoves are similar to that of free standing wood burning stoves.  Pellet stoves have a similar look, either traditional or modern.  The main difference is that there is a hopper located in the stove that must be filled.  The pellets are then released into the fire for burning.  A unique feature to these stoves is that they still provide you with a similar fireplace look and feel, but without the firewood requirement. Fireplace inserts are also similar to that of the wood burning fireplace insert.  These stoves also use a hopper to release pellets for burning.

Pellet stoves can also be used for central heating of a home.  These pellet stoves are combined with a boiler system that works similar to that of a wood burning boiler system.  The pellet stove is used as the heat source for heating water.  The heated water is then pumped to the home via underground pipes where an air to water heat exchange system then delivers heat throughout the home via a radiant system or forced air system.  These can also be used to provide you with hot water for your home.  Pellet stoves are often used as they don't require wood piles and can be automated to drop pellets for specific heat settings.

Outdoor pellet stoves work similarly to that of the boiler system.  These systems are placed approximately twenty feet from your home and other buildings that are to be heated.  Heated water is moved underground to your home in the same manner that the boiler system works.  These systems can allow you to heat your home either through radiant systems or forced air systems and can also be used to supply your home with hot water. They can be automated by filling the system with pellets that are then dropped at regular intervals to ensure the consistent heating of your home.

The type of pellet stove that you choose depends on your heating requirements.  There are a few drawbacks to burning pellets in that the system requires more regular maintenance on the moving parts of the hopper, but the convenience often outweighs the maintenance aspect of the pellet stove.  Some also require electricity or battery power to operate the hopper system, but this depends on the model you select.