Compressed sawdust and wood are efficient, renewable heat sources.








Pet owners know compressed paper pellets make good cat litter, and alfalfa pellets are good rabbit food. Either could also be considered biomass, and used for home heating.


Pellet stoves burn small pellets of dry organic material, typically compressed sawdust or wood shavings. They are inspired by the old-fashioned wood stove, but improve on the idea in several ways.

•  Pellet stoves are more eco-conscious. Instead of using new wood, most pellets are made from leftover sawdust, wheat hulls, and other waste and industrial byproducts.

  • They are more efficient and clean, creating less pollution than traditional wood-burning stoves (though they are not quite as clean-burning as gas and electric heaters, so indoor air quality may be an issue for those with serious respiratory problems). They can be used on high-pollution advisory days, when wood burning is generally banned
  • Modern pellet stoves are easier to maintain than wood-burning stoves. They have storage cavities that slowly feed the pellets to the stoves, and hold up to two days of burning capacity.


Pellet stoves are becoming popular that demand for pellets outstripped supply in recent years. The pellet industry is quickly catching up to demand, particularly in the western United States, where beetles are destroying pine forests. Several companies are turning the dead trees into fuel pellets.

Basic standalone pellet stoves cost about $2000-$4000, plus installation by a qualified professional.

The stoves provide a range of heating options, from small single-room heaters to larger units that can heat up to 2,000 square feet of space that is fairly open and well designed for simple heat transfer.


  • Pellet stove fireplace inserts are designed to look like the original fireplace but they spread heat into the home instead of up the chimney. A traditional fireplace draws in more cold air through the open flue than it releases hot air from the burning wood. Pellet stove inserts are an attractive option that easily fits the current décor. Avalon sells an efficient wood pellet fireplace insert rated to produce 45,000 BTU per hour.
  • Some free-standing stoves are designed to look like old-fashioned wood-burning stoves, but may have electronic ignition and a wall-mounted thermostat.
  • Modern stoves with modern features and accessories also are available.

If natural gas or other heat sources are expensive in your area, pellet stoves may be an economical alternative. They also are an efficient way to use scrap waste for home heating, with minimal pollution and less hassle than a wood stove.

“TIPS” are just suggestions for your general information, will not be held liable and use of this information is at your own risk.

Is Gas Stove Heating for you?

Gas Stoves have become increasingly popular in the last 10 years. There are literally hundreds of styles and sizes made, designed to fit any decor and budget. Gas Stoves are designed to look like their wood burning counterparts, and modern designs have created simulated logs and flames that cannot be distinguished from the real thing!

Gas Stoves are not only pretty to look at – they can also provide an increased sense of heating security since they do not need electricity to operate. You might not have to abandon your home the next time the power goes out during a winter storm.

There are many different ventilations for these units:
Vent Free, Ventless, Direct Vent and Natural “B” Vent gas stoves
Direct Vented – Can be vented straight out through the wall or up through the roof (Direct Vent)
Top Vented – These units need a chimney or vent exiting the roof (Natural B Vent)
Ventless | Vent Free – Need no Vent or Chimney – these exhaust into your home (Vent-Free)

In addition to gas stoves great heating alternatives would be: Pellet Stoves, Fireplace inserts and Wood Stoves

Stove Cleaning Checklist from Wood Heat Stoves & Solar

After your stove has had a season of hard work it is time to show your appreciation for the trouble free operation by going thru recommended annual service as listed in your user’s manual that can be found by clicking here 

Wood and Pellet Stove Cleaning 
On all pellet and woodstoves you will need cleaning brushes and rods for the vent pipes. Find your brushes and rods by clicking here. Be sure to consider where all this soot is going as you brush these pipes and have tarps and shop vacuums ready to keep the soot out of the air and off of the floor. Beware that you don’t push the soot into parts of the stove that are harder to clean out when you are done.

Gas Stoves – Inserts – Fireplaces
Gas stoves build up soot around the logs, pilot assemblies and burners, after a season of use. Usually a professional gas service man is best for this task but some more technically oriented customers do their own maintenance. Your manual is the best resource for instructions on this task. The pilot assembly and pilot generators are the most common parts needing cleaning, adjustment or replacement. They can be tested with a multimeter for the millivolts that they are
generating and compared to the minimum specifications. Troubleshooting information is located by clicking here -
Replacement Parts
Electrical components: Blowers get covered with dust and animal fur during the season and lose their efficiency until they are cleaned with a duster brush and vacuum. Auger motor bearings can wear out on your pellet stove. Now is the time to replace blowers and other motors that are becoming noisy as this is the first sign that failure is imminent. You will find most of these parts on our web site or contact us by email and we will find the parts you need if possible.

 Worn out Gaskets
Most door gaskets get worn out in a year or two and need replacement to keep the airtight function of any stove. You can check your door gasket by taking a piece of paper the size of a dollar bill and holding it in the door gasket while latching the door closed tightly. Then try to pull the paper thru the closed door and test it all the way around the door. If it is slips thru anywhere, you need to replace the gasket. We offer gaskets and glue on our web site.

 Programmable and Remote Thermostats for Gas Stoves
All gas stoves can run on a thermostat by connecting two wires to the valve.  We suggest that you add one versus manual operation. They can be wired and programmable for the ease and efficiency of automatic temperature changes at different times of the day. Or, you can choose wireless remote controls with simple on/off, thermostatic or programmable thermostat functions for ultimate control and ease of operation. Find them on our web site by clicking here. 12426 N. Bloomfield Rd.
Nevada City, CA 95959
Fax 530-265-8656

Wood Heat Stoves & Solar

Sizing your wood stove to suit your home

A customer asked for advice on a wood stove to heat his 1500 Square Foot home and in giving him a response I realized that this is something I have recited over and over for most of the 30 years I have been in business, so it would be a good blog article for all the people choosing a new stove.

Here was my reply:I will first mention that heating a 1500 sq. ft. area is often most effectively handled by a stove that is designed to heat 1800 to 2000 sq. ft. if you want to be confident that the fire can easily be kept going for 8 hours or more. Also the convenience of having a larger fuel load for higher heat output, longer long lengths and longer burn times is often quite valuable and there is no disadvantage to sizing the stove to a larger potential area since the low burn rate on all modern wood stoves is nearly identical, so there is no threat of the stove putting out too much heat. If you plan on keeping the fire going 24 hours, 7 days a week, like most users, then these stoves should suit your needs well.

The “Heritage” soapstone stove from Hearthstone– This is the most popular stove we have ever sold. It has a large firebox taking up to 21” logs, soapstone construction for holding heat long after the fire has gone low and distributing heat more evenly, a side loading door so that the user never needs to put their hand inside the stove to load fuel and can load it to the very top with no concern for ashes or coals rolling out and an ash drawer for easy ash removal thru an adjustable grate which also can serve as a quick starting technique to light logs from coals when the fire has burn down low (this is advised against by the manufacturer with concerns about liability for users leaving the ash drawer open and overheating the stove but most users find this very convenient when monitored cautiously).

Here is a much more economical wood stove without as many convenient features.

If you are only planning on using this stove intermittently then these smaller stoves may suit your needs as an alternative.
The Hearthstone “Craftsbury” cast iron wood stove

The Hearthstone “Tribute” soapstone wood stove

You will find many other alternatives listed here:
Hearthstone Soapstone Wood Stoves

Wood Heat – Wood Stoves partial list

I hope this helps you understand what is involved in choosing a wood stove for your home.

Let us know what we can do to further assist you.


Bruce Beeley – owner
Wood Heat Stoves & Solar
12426 N. Bloomfield Rd.
Nevada City, CA 95959
Fax 530-265-8656
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How do I keep smoke from my wood stove from entering my home??

A customer emailed us this question and I realized that this would be a good time to share with everyone the dynamics involved in keeping woodstoves from smoking in the home.

“Hi, I am interested in purchasing a wood burning stove for my house. My wife is allergic to smoke and wants a stove that does not emit smoke inside the house and is energy efficient and qualifies for the government tax credit.”

I responded with this explanation:
Almost all stoves manufactured since 1990 meet EPA Phase II clean burning standards, which also boosted efficiency. Almost all of these stoves qualify for the Federal Tax Credit currently available thru December 31st.

When it comes to allergies and smoke in the home, that is another subject. There can be no guarantee that any stove will not emit smoke into the room when the door is opened to add firewood. Small amounts of smoke often spill into the room at this time, depending on the strength of the draft in the chimney as well as the patience and care of the person opening the door. If the chimney draft is strong as a result of the chimney venting straight up thru the roof and the chimney is at least 15’ tall or taller, the draft should be adequate to remove all of the smoke if the door opening is handled with diligent care. Before opening a stove door in operation it is important to open the air control to allow the fire to burn briskly for a minute and allow the current smoke from smoldering wood to leave the firebox to further let room air fill the firebox, replacing the smoke. Then when opening the door it is important to first open it just a ½” or so, while the operator watches to see if there is smoke in the firebox and if the draft is pulling room air in quickly thru the firebox. Then, when opening the door, it should be opened slowly so that any remaining smoke is not pulled into the room along with the door.

Here are the critical details summarized.
1. Strong draft in chimney due to vertical pipe with no elbows and 15’ or more in overall height.
2. Patience in opening the firebox by first making sure the smoke in the firebox has been flushed thru by allowing any remaining wood to burn briskly and then opening the door as slowly as necessary to make sure the draft is effectively pulling all remaining smoke up the chimney.

If that sounds like a chimney installation you have or can accomplish and a process you are willing to go thru, then you can avoid ever allowing smoke to enter the home. In cases where the chimney draft is not strong enough to accomplish this or on rare occasions when strong winds are changing pressures in the chimney and the home, this may be more difficult to accomplish.

If this type of strong draft chimney cannot be installed in your home or you find these guidelines too restrictive in the process, a pellet stove could be an alternative solution. A vertical chimney vent would still be advised although horizontal venting is commonly allowed with pellet stoves. Some percentage of vertical pipe in your installation will reduce the possibility of smoke leakage.

If you do have a situation where the chimney can vent vertically 15’ or more and you are willing to go thru this cautious process in fuel loading, then I would suggest some of our most popular wood stoves. Which you can find by clicking here.
I hope this helps you understand what is involved in operating a wood stove without allowing smoke to enter the home.

Direct your questions to me at for any stove related details and I will be glad to reply. I have owned and operated Wood Heat Stoves & Solar for over 30 years and am glad to share the knowledge accumulated thru our sales and contracting services.

Earth Stove Pellet Stoves Parts Identification video on the stoves

Watch this video to find the location and of replacement parts for any of the Earth Stove Pellet Stoves by seeing where they are located on this HP40 insert model. We go thru the cup motor, auger motor, snap disc sensors, control panel, combustion and convection blowers so you can see each part installed and methods of servicing them.
Then watch our “Earth Stove pellet stove finding parts video” to guide you thru finding your parts list, owners manual and technical manuals for any type of service or replacement parts.Then watch this compimentary video to see the HP40 Earth Stove pellet stove components which are nearly identical to all Earth Stove pellet stoves.…
Make sure to download your owners manual for your stove which has a very helpful 6 Step Troubleshooting Guide which takes you step by step thru identifying which parts are causing the symptoms you are witnessing when your stove is not operating correctly. You will find these parts and manuals and more helpful videos on our web site at If you still need assistance after going thru these resources you can email us at

Guide to Finding Earth Stove Pellet Stove Parts Video

Watch this video for guidance in finding Earth Stove Pellet Stove parts, manuals and parts list on our web site. Here we review the most commonly replaced parts for this Natural Fire series of pellet stoves which uses the original Traeger pellet stove feed system.

Then watch our complimentary video which shows you exactly where each part is located, what they look like and suggestions for replacing them with helpful tips, on the Earth Stove HP40 insert.
We sold and serviced these stoves and even helped in their design so after reviewing the parts list, manuals and self service guide, if you still need assistance, just let us know.
Email us with any questions at and order parts and find manuals, parts lists and informational pages at

Wood Stove Chimney System Components & Installation video review

Watch as we review the White Metal/Twin Stack Class A Wood Stove Chimney Pipe components that will help you prepare for installation of this and the interior pipe to go with it. This video reviews the complete process from the stove brochure specifications and owners manual specs thru the series of components for all aspects of a vertical installation. We review the methods of installing single wall stove pipe with a slip connector and optional stove pipe shield for closer clearances or Dura Vent DVL Double Wall stovepipe as another option for closer wall clearances to combustibles. You will find all of these components on our web site ready to order at… We do sell a wide variety of other chimney pipe for wood, pellet and gas stoves and only have a small portion of them listed on our web site. Although each brand of chimney differs in their specific components, this video review may be valuable in considering any modern chimney installation. This type of installation is only suitable for a licensed contractor trained in this type of installation. Contact us if you need further assistance in ordering these parts at

Identify the model of your Whitfield Pellet Stove

Here we review the many different ways of identifying which model of Whitfield pellet stove you have. Some of these ways look on the label which is normally under the hopper lid or the owner’s manual that came with the stove. Beware that the label may say only WP2 Advantage but this does not identify which model you have as the WP2 Advantage series includes many different specific models including the Advantage II, II-T, III, Plus, Optima and Classic. You can also go to the Owner’s & Service manuals section of our web site on the left of each web page. Each manual has a line drawing on the cover that can help you identify your model. Download the manual you think looks most like yours and confirm that the features match your stove. If they don’t, just send us an email and request another manual for free until you find the right manual. Find those manuals here
Once you know which model you have you can the technical service manual for that stove in the manuals section of our web site. With your manuals and the free parts list also listed on our web site, you will be able to find all of the part numbers related to your stove model. Here is a link to that parts list
When you identify parts you want to purchase or get more information about, just copy and paste the part number into the search box on our web site and click enter to see that and all related parts. Many parts pages have photos, videos and links to other related parts.
We work very hard to make this process as easy as possible and also welcome you to email us at if you need further assistance.

Finding Pellet Stove Parts Guide to

Watch this video for guidance in finding and using parts lists on our web site to find any parts you need for most brands of pellet stoves. Turn your volume all the way up as it was hard to get very loud during recording.
You will find parts lists, owner’s and technical manuals and all parts listed for Whitfield, Quadrafire, Enviro, Breckwell, Lopi, Avalon, Earth Stove, Traditions, Country, Austroflamm, Waterford, Englander and many other pellet stove brands.
You can use the handy “Self Service Guide” for helping find the make and model of your stove and any parts you need by going to this web page.;
You will also find more informational videos and documents in the left column of our web site.
We have been selling and servicing wood, gas and pellet stoves for over 30 years and are glad to help you with anything you need for stoves, inserts or fireplaces.
You can also email us at for further assistance.