The pros and cons of using a pellet stove

closeup image of wood pellets

Classic wood stoves and fireplaces have had a few rivals for years, such as gas, oil and electric heat, but the relatively new pellet stoves are one of the few heating technologies to challenge wood stoves on their own terms by burning a wooden material to generate warmth.

Pellet stoves have a lot going for them. The 40 pound bags of pellets are relatively easy to store and inexpensive, especially when compared to wood stoves. Older residents can divide up a back of pellets and carry it in with multiple trips.

Some stove models allow the user to load several days worth of pellets at once. Like gas or oil heat, this allows users to go to sleep and wake up without having to worry about loading up the stove or constantly adjusting the heat. This convenience means pellet stoves are reliable and easy to adjust.

Wood Pellets also burn a renewable product that causes much less pollution than gas or oil heaters. Many pellets are made from waste materials such as compacted sawdust.

However, pellet stoves have one major downside when compared to wood stoves: They need electricity to work. Power turn the auger that adds new pellets to the burning area. When power fails, such as during a blizzard, pellet stoves stop working while wood stoves and gas stoves keep producing heat.

Fireplace and wood stoves also have a romantic look to them with the brightly burning logs. There are pellet stove models where the burning pellets can be seen, but the flame is small and intense.

Pellet stoves also have more mechanical parts. The auger produces a dull mechanical rumble and the parts can break down and require maintenance.

The market for wood pellets can be irregular and that has lead to pellet shortages during the winter. They’re practically routine at this point so owners of pellet stoves are encouraged to stock up on pellets during the fall to avoid price spikes and shortages.

We sell and wood pellets and can deliver them right to your door.