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- It is possible to burn wood pallets in a wood stove, but it is important to take some precautions
- First, make sure that the pallets have not been treated with any wood preservatives or pesticides- you can find pesticide markings on the pallets themselves somewhere
- Second, make sure that the pallets are completely dry before burning
- Finally, make sure that the stove is properly vented to avoid any health risks and get the chimney swept- some forum members suggest 2x a year if you’re burning pallets frequently (Source)
My grandfather was always a resourceful man.
When he retired, he decided to use his old wood-burning stove to burn wood pallets that he got from the local supermarket.
He knew that it was important to take some precautions when burning pallets, so he made sure that they were completely dry before burning and that the stove was properly vented.
He also made sure that the pallets were not treated with any wood preservatives or pesticides.
For a while, it worked perfectly. The stove would heat up the house quickly and my grandfather didn’t have to pay for any expensive firewood.
However, one day, something went wrong. The pallet that my grandfather was burning started smoldering and produced a lot of smoke.
My grandfather quickly opened the windows to let the smoke escape, but it was too late. The smoke had already filled the house and stunk it up bad.
My grandfather learned his lesson the hard way and I’m sure he won’t be burning wood pallets in his stove anymore. Or, at least, he’ll be checking that they’re chemical free before he does!
So, the answer is kind of a yes and a no
Why You Shouldn’t Burn Pallets In Wood Stoves
Pallets are made of softwood which will create more creosote than hardwood. This could lead to a chimney fire or other injuries. The wood may also be treated with chemicals that have the potential to contaminate your home, specifically if you have pets or young children.
Finally, some pallets are made of recycled materials which may contain hazardous materials such as metal shavings that could pose a safety risk to occupants in the home.
Advantages of burning pallets in a wood stove
- Pallets are made of cheap, renewable material.
- Pallets are a readily available source of fuel.
- Pallets do not create as much creosote as hardwood.
- Some pallets are made of two-by-fours, providing more heat than a piece of scrap lumber with the same dimensions.
- Pallets can be sold or traded for other fire-making supplies such as fireplace wood or fire logs (firewood logs that have been cut to certain lengths).
How to burn pallets in a wood stove
Once you have decided that you wish to burn pallets in your wood stove, there are a few factors to consider before you do so.
Inspect the pallet for nails and metal.
Remove the nails and metal from the pallet if present. The best way to do this is with a magnet. If it does not attract your magnet, it is not made of metal (most nails, screws, and metal decorative pieces will not be magnetic).
Other means include striking it with a hard object or hitting a corner of it with another hammer. It is most likely made of metal if it makes any metallic ringing sound.
If burning the pallet on your wood stove, you should cut it into smaller sizes. This will reduce the time required to heat the home and the amount of creosote produced. Depending on your stove and chimney, it may also reduce the number of sparks produced.
Avoid burning pallets with dirty or wet wood with them, as this will increase the risk of creosote production. Creosote is a tar-like by-product created when the wood is burned incompletely.
This substance can diminish the efficiency of your chimney and can lead to a chimney fire if left unchecked. A few seconds before the pallet is usually required to burn it successfully.
If you are burning the pallets in a fireplace, you should only allow them to burn until they begin to smoke. You do not want to let them get so hot that they begin to smoke for extended periods, as this can lead to creosote production and smoke in your home.
Take your time during the burning process and allow the pallets to become fully heated before removing them from your wood stove. This will prevent creosote production as well as prolong the fire.
After you have removed your pallets from the wood stove, remove any burnt debris from the stove and inspect it for any damage.
If there are any signs of burn holes, cracks, or screws in the wall, you should replace them immediately, as this will lead to smoke seeping into your home.
When burning pallets in your wood stove, it is best to use wood that is not treated with chemicals, has been stored in a dry area, and has not been cut to appropriate lengths. It is also important to monitor the pallets during burning as they could begin smoldering if not properly warmed up.
Burning pallets may also lead to the production of creosote which is similar to tar. Creosote can build up inside your chimney, fireplace, and wood stove and reduce their efficiency. It can also cause spontaneous combustion if left unchecked.
Spontaneous combustion occurs when flammable materials such as wood or cloth are not heated for long periods and begin to self-ignite.
Finally, burning pallets may require a little extra work on behalf of the homeowner, but the savings are worth it when you consider how effective it is as a fuel source.