I know that I speak for a lot of people when I say, “cold winters give me the chills”. No pun intended. Not only do they restrict me from indulging in my favorite outdoor activities, leave me feeling frosty but they also amp up the energy bills. While I could do little about the change in seasons, I decided to seek out a new heating system that could heat more effectively. Don’t want to be freezing this winter? That is how the best pellet stove comes into play.
To nudge you in the right direction, I carried out an extended research on the options available in the market and even got details from people who were already using pellet stoves. Look below to find out the best options that I found during my research.
Best Pellet Stove 2018
As I found out during my research, there isn’t one pellet stove, which could suit everyone’s needs. You might like the pellet stove your friend has, but it is extremely plausible that their particular unit may not suit you.
Hence, if you are looking for the best pellet stove for the money and for your needs, there are certain factors which you need to take into consideration.
First, determine the spread of the room or house which you want to heat with the stove. Remember, greater the room area more should be the heating capacity of the stove. Also, keep in mind to seat pellet stoves on fire-resistant surfaces such as stone or tile.
Also, install a ceiling fan in the room where the stove will be. For, heat generated by the stove often goes to the ceiling, and if you don’t use a ceiling fan, it may not come down into the room
To know more about factors which can help you in choosing the best pellet stove, scroll down to the buyer’s guide.
So far, we fixated our attention to general concerns regarding the pellet stoves. Now, we are going to review the best pellet stoves for you. Take a look.
1. Pleasant Hearth Cabinet Style 50000 BTU’s Pellet Stove with 120-Pound Hopper
For those of you who are looking for a stove which is easy to install, has a brilliant efficiency rating, and can heat your entire house, your search ends here. This Pellet Stove with a 120-Pound Hopper is all you’ll ever need to heat your entire house.
Although the price of this heater might suggest otherwise, it has a very basic operation which even kids could operate with ease. All you need to set the heater to your desired temperature is one turn of the dial after which its Exclusive Comfort Control system will take the lead to allow you to control your desired temperature with ease.
While it might not be important for many, there are still customers who want aesthetics from their heater. If you fall into this category, this heater will provide you one extra incentive on buying it. For, it has a ceramic glass viewing area which will allow you to make this heater a focal point of your room.
Going back to hard facts and there are two which I think are worth mentioning here. Firstly, this heater will give out 50,000 BTU’s of heat, enough to heat 2200sq feet. It means that unless you live in a huge villa, one such heater would be enough to warm your whole house.
Secondly, it has an EPA Certified efficiency rating of 85%. It means that it would convert the maximum amount of energy generated by pellets into heat, giving off minimum in exhaust. Also, since the waste will be less, the cleaning of this heater will also be a cinch.
Moreover, if you don’t want to change the setting of your stove every one or two hours, it gives you the option to run it continuously on minimum or maximum mode.
If you are worried that running continuously makes it dangerous, fear not as it has an inner thermoset which automatically turns this heater ON/OFF once it has achieved the desired temperature.
Finishing on a low point, I have to say that this heater is loud. It loudness stems from the blower which spread the air throughout the room but whatever the reason, I wasn’t enamored by its voice.
- Enough heat to warm the whole house (up to 2200 sq. ft.)
- Automatically turns ON/OFF after achieving the set point
- Very easy to operate
- Ceramic glass window gives off a brilliant view of the fire
- 5 Year Limited Warranty Included
- Operates loudly
Alternatively, Pleasant Hearth also offers a medium pellet stove with a 40-pound hopper that burns 12 to 24 hours, outputs 35,000 BTU’s of heat and is suitable for heating areas up to 1750 square feet. In addition, a large pellet stove with a 80-pound hopper that burns for 16 to 46 hours, has heat a output of 50,000 BTU’s and like the cabinet style pellet stove is just as suitable for heating large homes up to 2200 square feet.
2. Castle 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller
If you are looking to heat a small living area or a cabin, the castle 12327 merits your attention. With its great design, beautiful outlook and useable features, this pellet stove would not only heat your house but also become a part of it.
Although we are of the opinion that this pellet stove is best suited for a small living area, its manufacturer is of the opinion that it can heat up to 1500sq feet. However, as we have gauged from reading its reviews and asking other people who are using it, it would be better if you keep the heating area small for this stove.
What this stove lacks in its heating area, it compensates for by giving you more control over its heating rate. For example, if it is too cold out there and you feel that the stove’s current heating rate isn’t enough, you can take advantage of the 5 different heat settings and feed rates to give you complete control.
Another feature which proves the usefulness of this heater is its efficiency rate. At 78%, it might not be the most efficient in the market, but when you compare its efficiency with its price tag, you’d testify that the heater has outwitted other heaters which belong in the same price spectrum.
It is made up of steel which means that Castle 12327 allows easy cleaning. Having said that, its MOC is a double edged sword. For, where at one end it allows easy cleaning, it becomes too hot to handle at the other. Hence, when it is fully warmed up, it becomes too hot to touch. You should keep this in mind and keep the children or pets away from it.
Another feature which makes this heater easy to maintain is its design. In contrast to other pellet stoves – which are intricately designed, leaving the user with no choice but to call a professional every time he wants to clean it, the metal tubes of this heater are so simply designed that you could easily keep it maintained without the help of any professional.
- Easy to maintain and fast cleaning
- Can use any type of pellet as a fuel
- Good heat efficiency for the price
- Different feed and heat rates to give you total control
- When fully warmed up, the outer casing can become too hot to touch
- Not meant to heat large spaces such as homes, more suitable for an apartment
3. Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22- 50,000 BTU- Special Price!
Take a look at any listing related to best pellet stoves and two companies will always be there: Comfortbilt and Pleasant Hearth. Inevitably, both these companies have also earned their place in our review as well.
Looking at this model and one thing which surprised me was its low hopper capacity. As you might have noted, both the aforementioned stoves have hopper capacity in excess of 100lbs. This one, despite being pricier than both, only uses a 55lb hopper. This was one feature which I didn’t like about this heater.
What this heater lacks for its storage capacity, it makes up for in the amount of heat generated. Despite having a small hopper, it still pumps out 50,000BTU’s of heat which is enough to heat up to 2200sq feet, making this stove a must-have for large homes.
To disseminate heat to its surroundings, Comfortbilt HP22 uses a convection blower which has an efficiency rating of 86%. Thus, in case you were wondering, it was this efficiency rating which allowed this pocket sized stove to pump out so much heat.
As is the norm with all Comfortbilt stoves, HP22 comes with all sorts of modern amenities including electronic thermostat controls, an ash pan for easy cleaning, programmable temperatures, and an automatic ignition. Justifying its price tag, it has a remote control which allows you to adjust everything regardless of where you are sitting.
Along with the great set of features mentioned above, this heater will also give you an appealing design. For, thanks to its charcoal gray color and its large viewing area, it will create an impression.
- Has an efficiency rating of 86% by EPA
- Comes with a remote control
- Ash pan comes with the package to allow easy cleaning
- Automatic ignition
- The capacity of the storage hopper is a little too small.
- 1 Year Limited Parts Warranty
Buyer’s Guide – Pellet Stoves
Although you might have already picked the most efficient pellet stove from the list above, I still insist that you read this buyer’s guide. The product reviews provided are specific to those products, but if you want to have a general knowledge about all pellet stoves, this guide will come in handy.
What is a Pellet Stove?
There is nothing revolutionary about the design or the features of the pellet stove. It is similar to a woodstove in a sense that both of them produce heat. But the similarities stop there.
Instead of using firewood as fuel, pellet stove burns hardwood pellets which are 1/5’’ in diameter and 3/4inch long.
These pellets, in turn, are made up of waste wood and sawdust which, if not converted to pellets, would be dumped to rot in the landfills. Their care for the environment doesn’t stop there as pellets, on burning, produce only as much CO2 as produced by wood when it gets decomposed naturally on the wood floor.
How does it work?
If you don’t want to design a pellet stove yourself, you DON’T need to know how it works. All you need to do is to keep the hopper full of pellets, and you’ll be good.
However, if you are a nerd like me, here you go.
First of all, you will transfer pellets into the storage hopper which is at the top of the stove. From there, an electric auger will take these pellets to the burn chamber. There are sensors installed inside the stove which would tell the auger when the demand has equaled supply, hence signaling it to stop transferring pellets.
As you’ll see through the glass screen, there will only be just enough pellets in the burn chamber which could keep the fire burning. It is because it will be the intensity of the fire, and not the number of the pellets, which would make your house warm.
To start the fire, the stove – after taking in fresh air from a combustion blower, will exhaust gasses through the vent.
A convection blower will then draw in fresh air from your room, only to replace it with the hot air via heat exchange tubes. The amount of hot air blown into your room will obviously depend on the temperature of the thermostat.
How to Power a Pellet Stove?
If there is one feature of pellet stoves which might raise eyebrows, it is the fact that it needs electric power to work. It is, obviously, in contrast to that of wood stoves which require only a source of ignition to operate.
Hence, If you live in an area where power outages are a normal occurrence, this shortcoming of a pellet stove might make matters difficult.
There is one thing which people living in areas where power outages are a normal occurrence can do: get an alternate power supply.
Yes, almost all pellet stoves take in the minimum amount of electricity – such as 110KWH per month, so you’ll need a very small battery to keep them running when the electricity has deceived you yet again.
Are they good for the environment?
The answer to this question depends on whom you ask it. Go to the Pellet Stove Sellers, and they’ll tell you that they pellet stoves are only here to save the environment. Ask wood sellers, and they’d tell exactly the opposite. Gauging from their responses, one could tell that the answer lies somewhere between.
Most of the new design pellet stoves convert more than 92% of the pellet heat into energy. That is to say that they leave minimal to no residue behind.
However, if your stove was designed back in the day, it is extremely plausible that it is still exhausting gasses in copious amounts to poison the environment.
That said, there is one way for you to find out whether your stove is good for the environment or not. Check its efficiency rating. Pellet stoves which are good for the environment have an efficiency rating of 75% or higher.
Types of Pellet Stoves
Similar to that of wood burning stoves, pellet stoves come in two basic types. Let’s take a look at both to know which will suit you the best.
Stand-alone Pellet Stoves
As suggested by their name, standalone stoves stand on their own. You can place them anywhere in your house, shop, or any other building. Since they operate alone, they are very easy to install and don’t even require a flue or a chimney.
That is not to say that they don’t have an exhaust system. In fact, if you don’t keep the exhaust system in perfect shape through periodic maintenance, it won’t work properly.
These stoves do have their shortcomings, the most important of which is the room they acquire. They are big and bulky and require considerable space for their storage.
Pellet Stove Inserts
Also known as fireplace inserts, they provide you with the freedom to fit them into existing fireplaces. Hence, if you already have a fireplace and don’t want to demolish it to make way for a pellet stove, fireplace inserts are ideal for they will just make use of it.
As for their shortcomings, Pellet Stove Inserts are very difficult to install and as long as you don’t have the assistance of a professional, you might not be able to install it safely.
Pellet Stoves Vs Wood Burning Stoves: Comparison
People looking for a substitute of pellet stoves – for whatever reason, often end up with wood burning stoves. Are wood burning stoves worth it? Do they have the usefulness that should force you to dump pellet stoves for them? Let’s find out.
Range and heating efficiency
As stated above, wood burning stoves are available in two models: stand-alone and fireplace inserts. Wood burning stoves, on the contrary, are available in a wide range of models ranging from free-standing, fireplaces, fireplace inserts, box heat stoves, and wood cookstoves.
Hence, when it comes to the range which both these stoves have to offer, wood burning stoves clearly lead the line.
Pellet stoves, however, are away ahead of their wood burning counterparts when it comes to heating efficiency. For, while the best wood stoves have an efficiency ranging somewhere between 65-70%. Pellet stoves, on the contrary, have an efficiency of 83% according to the Department of Agriculture.
That is to say, that while using equal amounts of fuel, it is the pellet stoves which will heat your house better.
There are two types of installation costs concerned with both pellet and wood burning stoves: main unit cost and connection cost.
As far as the main unit installation cost is concerned, both the units cost similar so long as their style, design, and heating area are similar.
As for the connection costs, wood burning stoves cost more. You need to insulate its full chimney system which extends from the top of the stove to above the roof peak. On the contrary, pellet stoves either need a direct vent or a smaller chimney for exhaust gasses, both of which are easy to install and less costly.
Ease of Maintenance
Wood stoves are very difficult to maintain. Not only you’ll have to call a chimney sweep on an annual basis, but you’d also have to clean the soot and residue periodically. Also, since wood’s ash content is huge, you’d also have to clean the catalytic combustor at least three times per season.
Pellet stoves might be complex, but they are easy to maintain so long as you are following the instruction manual. All you have to do to keep them in working condition is to ensure the working order of fans and motors and removing extra debris.
Thus, when it comes to ease of maintenance, pellet stoves win.
As stated above, a power supply is required to keep the pellet stoves running. If the power is out and you have no backup, the stove won’t work. Wood burning stoves will continue to provide heat even during a power outage.
Hence, if you live in an area where power outages are a norm – and you cannot afford to power a pellet stove with a backup, wood burning stoves merit your attention.
Pros and Cons of Pellet Stoves
First of all, pellet stoves are easy to maintain and much greener than their wood counterparts. For, apart from producing no ash, pellets are considered carbon-neutral – meaning they release only as much CO2 as produced by wood when it gets decomposed naturally on the wood floor.
Also, since they have a 75 percent to 95 percent overall efficiency, pellet stoves are more efficient with a higher BTU output than wood stoves.
They are very easy to start. All you need to do to start a fire is to push a button or adjust the thermostat. Moreover, they require less space for storage.
Lastly, even if you don’t have a fireplace, you can install a pellet stove because their gasses can be exhausted through a small wall hole, instead of a whole chimney.
Pellet stoves require electricity – around 110KWH per month, adding to your energy bills. Also, if the electricity goes out, you’d have to provide them with a backup to keep them going. It means extra spending on a battery.
Also, no matter what pellet stove manufacturers say, wood is still the most cost efficient method of heating.
Pros and Cons of Wood Stoves
If you can get your hands on an EPA-certified Wood stove, it will be much greener than the traditional, non-EPA-certified stoves. While not as greener as pellet stoves, an EPE-certified stove will pollute the environment much less that its non-certified counterpart.
Secondly, as already mentioned above, heating your home by burning wood will save you a lot of money.
Wood burning stoves are very difficult to install and the fact that you have to install a chimney, you might require the help of a professional.
Wood burning stoves aren’t as efficient as pellet stoves. That is to say, that for an equal amount of wood burned, it would produce less heat – and waste more, than a pellet burning stove.
Lastly, in contrast to pellets which are available in 40lb packages – meaning you can store them wherever you want, wood cords would require a proper, designated area for storage. Hence, if your house is already small, storing wood cords can be a problem.
Choosing a Pellet Stove
How Many Rooms do you want to heat?
Depending on how many rooms you want to heat, there are two types of pellet stoves: one room heaters and multi-room heaters.
If you want to heat only one room, there are two types of stoves: natural convection stoves and forced ventilation stoves.
The former will operate by radiating heat, albeit slowly, through the environment with less dust and noise. The forced ventilation stove will operate by pushing the heat in the outward direction by a fan, to allow it to cover more distance in less time.
If you want to heat two or more rooms with a single stove, there are three options for you to consider: ducted air stove (which come with forced ventilation), hydro stoves and hydro stoves (with forced ventilation).
Talking about the ducted air stove, it will distribute the air through the room via the pipes in diffusers and the wall. As for hydro stoves, they will collaborate with your existing heating system to supply heat via heating the water for the radiators.
How Powerful should the stove be?
The power of your stove depends on how much heat (calorific value) it can supply to your team. It depends on the amount of heat your home needs which, in turn, depends on the following three factors:
- Space you want to heat – obviously, the greater space, the more powerful your stove needs to be.
- How insulated your home already is – if the level of insulation is enough, you can suffice with less power.
- Location of your home – if you live close to a lake or stream, the heat loss will be greater, forcing you to invest in a stove with more power.
How to Size a Pellet Stove?
For most people who have limited space available in their homes, their major concern is the physical size of the stove. However, it should be the heat output which merits their attention much more than any other thing.
It is the feature which would keep their house warm and tell whether or not the price which they spent on buying a new stove was worth it or not.
Moreover, there is also a misconception among people that the best-rated pellet stoves give off the most energy. If your heating area is small, you’d know that this belief is dumbfounded.
Firstly, an oversized pellet stove would use more fuel than required by your room. Secondly, it will also pollute the environment more than a properly sized stove.
Hence, when comparing the (BTU) output of various pellet stoves, ensure that you are checking the overall efficiency of each product because it is the heat which the stove will deliver to your room (and not the heat which will go out the chimney).
Unsurprisingly, your stove’s overall efficiency is not the only variable that is important. Some other variables are as follows. Make sure that you discuss these variables with the dealer before purchasing a unit.
- Your Stove’s location
- Distance of your rooms from one another
- Whether you will be using the stove as a primary or secondary means of heating?
- Will you be using a blower or any other heat transfer mechanism to disseminate heat?
- How well your house is insulated?
- Fuel you’ll be using
Are Pellets Less Costly than Firewood?
As discussed above, pellet stoves are extremely frugal when it comes to looking after your money. Apart from their upfront cost – which is more than that of a wood stove, pellet stoves beat wood stoves in almost every other department of saving.
Don’t believe me? Let’s do the math.
Take a look at standard wood stoves, and you will come to know that they use 4-8 cords of wood every year. A typical wood cord costs anywhere between $150 and $200. A pellet stove uses 5-7 tons of pellets per year, and it will cost you $190 to $250 per ton.
Do the math, and you’d come to know that pellets are not as economical in comparison with firewood, however they burn more efficiently so rest assure that you will get your money’s worth. Also, if you have decided to go for pellets, you’d save both that time and energy which would otherwise spend on stacking and storing wood.
That said, there is one factor which could uptake the cost of pellets: the freight cost. Pellets are not as readily available as firewood hence before going for a pellet stove, make sure that you can find a pellet dealer in your vicinity.
How to Install a Pellet Stove?
The aforementioned instructions are limited to a stand-alone pellet stove. If yours is a Pellet Stove Insert, it would be better to hire a Professional to do the job.
- If you don’t have a fireproof floor, cover it with a fireproof pad.
- Place your pellet stove on the fireproof surface. No combustible substance should be nearby.
- Take a vent pipe and temporarily attach it to the stove. Afterward, use a drill to bore a 3/8’’ hole through the external house wall. Make sure that the bore hole is in line with the vent pipe’s edge.
- Push the vent pipe into the wall and after tracing it from the other side, detach the pipe from the stove.
- Take a large divider and use it to mark inner wall’s diameter thimble onto the wall.
- After placing the divider into the middle of the outline vent-pipe, make a circle onto the wall.
- Use a reciprocating saw to cut along the large external circle.
- Repeat 5 and 6 to make a similar hole through the external house wall
- Hold the external wall protector in place and mark the point where it meets the house siding
- Use a reciprocating saw at each mark to cut slots into the siding.
- At this point, a pipe will be passing through the thimble. Wrap the pipe with fireproof insulation.
- Against the outer wall, press the thimble. Make sure the slots cut in the siding fit against the thimble. Finally, screw the thimble into the siding.
- At the end of the vent pipe, attach a screen and an elbow
- Now, you are going to make a hole for fresh-air intake. For this purpose, bore a 2.5’’ hole through the outer house wall. Make sure that this hole is at least 12’’ away from the vent pipe’s hole.
- Bore a matching 2.5’’ hole through the internal wall
- Take out the 2’’ aluminum intake vent – it should have come with the stove, and feed it through the external hole and inside the room.
- The mounting flange should screw the flexible vent to the side.
- Apply Silicone caulk in and around the 2’’ vent where it passes through the internal wall.
- After sliding the mounting plate against the wall, screw it.
- Re-connect the exhaust pipe to the back of the stove
- Connect the air-intake vent to the back of the stove. Tighten the clamp around it with a nut driver.
- At the end of the exhaust vent, attach an elbow. Afterward, attach it to the interior wall thimble. Screw the vent pipe to the elbow.
- After filling the hopper with wood pellets, plug in the stove.
Pellet Stoves Venting
If you want your new pellet stove to operate seamlessly, it is crucial that you vent it properly. More importantly, you need to know which type of vent pipe would suit your stove. There are five types of vent pipes popular in the heating industry. Let’s take a look at each of them to find out which one would be the most suited for you.
Gas Vent Pipe
A gas vent pipe uses aluminum – and not the industry standard stainless steel, for the inside wall of its chimney.
You should NEVER use a gas vent pipe when the stove manufacturer has recommended pellet vent pipe. For, in addition to notwithstanding the exhaust of a pellet vent, the pipe will fail rapidly.
Pellet Vent Pipe
Available in 3’’ and 4’’ diameter size, it is also referred to as an L-vent pipe in industry jargon. It is because of the pipe’s inner chimney, made of stainless steel, makes it durable and long lasting.
Corn Vent Pipe
Mostly used for corn burning stove, you can also use it for pellet stoves. Just like the pellet vent pipe, its inner part is made up of stainless steel vent.
Manufactured wood stove pipe
The most expensive pipe in the market, it has been classified as a Class-A pipe. It usually comes in three sizes –6, 7, and 8’’, and is compatible with many pellet stoves. That said, if you don’t want to spend extra money, you can forego this pipe for pellet vent pipe.
Masonry wood stove chimneys
Just like the abovementioned pipe, it is also classified as a Class A pipe. That said, instead of using a stainless steel coating, they use a clay inner liner.
How to Feed Pellets into Your Stove?
There are two feeding mechanisms of a basic pellet stove. Either you will have to feed it from behind, or you can use the chute at the top. Let’s take a look at both.
Top Feeding Pellet Stove
If you are planning to go with a top fed stove, ensure that you only buy the high-quality pellets because the burn boxes of these pellet stoves are more susceptible to getting clogged with clinkers. That is why most sellers recommend bottom fed stoves.
Bottom Feeding Pellet Stove
In contrast to top fed stoves, these stoves don’t require you to buy premium pellets because, since the ash drawer will receive maximum quantity of ash produced, there are minimal chances of clogging.
How to Maintain a Pellet Stove?
During the winter, when you are using your stove heavily and regularly, things such as the ash content needs to be kept in check. At least 1-2 times a week you should empty the ash pan and scrape the burn pot from hardened ash (clinkers), clean out the burn chamber, and other key parts to keep them free of ash. Parts to include the hopper, auger, heat exchangers and other venting elements need to be cleaned regularly as well.
When the stove is not in use and has cooled down, you can clean off the front glass, which would allow you to see the fire more clearly. Use a glass cleaner and take a soft cloth to wipe off the glass. Avoid scratching or scraping the glass. Clean the outside of the stove with soap and water for none cast iron stoves or use a brush in addition to soap and water for cast iron stoves.
As the stove is used and gets wear and tear, you may have to do some basic repairs or hire someone to do it for you. Lubricating motors and fans, checking gasket seals, removing switches and even replacing the stove glass are some repairs that may have to be done to keep the stove fully functional. You want to ensure that your stove’s moving parts keep moving, fire chamber door stays close, feeds pellets, and shuts off at the right time when it is suppose to. In addition, though replacing the stove glass is not necessary, you can opt to do this to enjoy a clear fire view if your old glass is scratched or worn.
You should have your pellet stove cleaned and inspected by a professional at least once a year, prior to the heating season. They will be able to inspect essential parts such as the hopper, motor, auger, blowers, exhaust pipe, seals, wiring, sensors and switches.
This is important in preventing dangers like fires and smoke leaking from the stove. Pellet stoves that go by without being cleaned or maintained properly run the risk of forming creosote which is a sticky and flammable substance that causes chimney fires.
You also have the option of cleaning and inspecting the stove yourself by carefully following the owner’s manual instructions.
Note: Be aware that some pellet stoves require more or less maintenance than others. Things that influence this are the brand, technology used to make the stove and the type of pellets that you typically use.
Pellet Stove Pellets
Buying quality pellets is another way you can help maintain your stove. Better quality pellets tend to be more energy efficient, produce less ash and saves you money in the long-term considering that less damage is done to your stove throughout time. So when seeking out pellets to purchase its suggested that you only buy premium grade pellets that contain less than 1% ash after being burned.
There are many types of pellets you can use as a fuel for your pellet stove. Of them, the most highly rated are wood pellets. That is because they are very compact, burn very well to give a good amount of heat and are fairly low priced options.
That said, not all wood pellets are the same, and you need to keep some things in mind to choose the right pellet for your stove.
- Check the ash content of the pellet. Less the ash content, greater will be the burning efficiency of the pellet
- Pay attention to the size. The best pellets to use are even sized and have a solid, firm consistency, making it easier for the stove to use them as fuel.
- Check the moisture content of the The package containing pellets normally mentions the moisture content. Remember, if the moisture content is greater than 15percent, pellets will burn unevenly, giving off less heat.
5 Benefits of Pellet Stoves
- Pellet Stoves are Easy to Use
Pellet stoves are typically easier to operate than wood stoves. Not only are pellet stoves less labor intensive because you don’t have to cut firewood then haul it to the stove but also owning a pellet stove, as a heating option is as simple as opening and pouring pellets inside the hopper.
- They are Highly Efficient
Though pellet stoves cost slightly more to operate than wood stoves (about $220-250 total, $190 to $350 more per season for pellets plus $10 per month for electricity) they tend to be more effective at heating your home. Pellet stoves use convection to heat a room, the hot air rises above the cool air, cool air pulled from the room then passes over the fire in the burn pot making the fire hotter. This allows the pellets to burn more evenly and efficiently.
According to the Department of Agriculture, for every cord of wood used you get 10.7 million BTUs to heat your home versus 11.3 million BTUs of heat produced by pellets. This usually results in an efficiency of 70% for wood stoves and 83% for pellet stoves. It is clear the pellet stove is the winner when it comes to heating!
- Pellet Stoves can be Set to Operate Autonomously
One of the biggest advantage of pellet stoves is that you can also operate a pellet stove almost autonomously for up to 12 hours due to it’s built in hopper. It very possible to go an entire day or even 3 days without having to load up your pellet stove hopper.
- Pellet Stoves are Environmentally Friendly
The pellets that are used to fuel the pellet stove are made from recycled materials such as sawdust and wood etc. It is widely known that one way to reduce waste in our environment is to recycle, especially things that do not decompose such as plastics. A pellet stove does a good job at reducing waste by utilizing wood byproducts. In addition, they also release fewer harmful gases into the air such as CO2 emissions, which are greatly reduced (for every 1 ton of pellets used CO2 emissions are reduced by 1.5 tons in comparison to burning oil). Pellets are considered to be “carbon-neutral”, which means that there is a zero carbon footprint. Carbon released into the environment contributes to global warming and the “Greenhouse Effect” which both make the Earth’s climate and temperature hotter. The Greenhouse Effect is essential for warming the Earth’s surface enough to sustain life but too much heat can affect plant life, human life and increase the likelihood of weather-related natural disasters.
In addition, pellets burn clean and don’t produce smoke so you can enjoy fresh air while being kept warm in the comfort of your home.
- Pellet Stoves are More Convenient
Burning firewood usually involves the intense labor of cutting (or buying) and then transporting the wood back to your home then, occasionally inviting insects and other critters into your humble abode, along with waiting months for it to dry.
What a tedious effort?
Not only are pellets cheaper in comparison to other fuel sources (ex. oil and propane), pellets are available in 40lb bags that are quite easy to store and do not take up considerable space. Also, the pellet stoves themselves do not take up as much space as wood stoves and are easier to install.
Considering that there is virtually no external heat produced while it is being used, you can feel safe if you have children or even pets running around the house.
Wrapping It Up
Sure, a wood stove may have been the only option in regards to indoor heating solutions prior to the 1980’s. However, today we are lucky to have pellet stoves on the market which are more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and more independent for you in the long term. In this article, we have discussed the best pellet stoves available. Our top recommendation is the Pleasant Hearth Cabinet Style 50000 BTU’s Pellet Stove with 120-Pound Hopper for those who live in medium to large homes and the Castle 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller for people who live in small living spaces or apartments. We feel as though an appliance of this expense should have a warranty of 5 to 10 years, especially considering the moving parts present in these machines. Moving parts in any device whether it be a camera, computer or a pellet stove have the tendency of eventually going bad, so it’s definitely beneficial to have a warranty coverage for your pellet stove. We chose the Pleasant Hearth over the Comfortbuilt because of Pleasant Hearth’s 5 Year Warranty in comparision to Comfortbuilt 1 Year Warranty.
Furthermore, we are confident that either of these choices listed here will warm both your heart and your home.