Best Pellet Stove Reviews & What You Need to Know Before Buying One
Pellet stoves are used to heat up all different kinds of residences. From small and large homes to apartments and condos, pellet stoves are an effective appliance that many opt for. If you’re looking for a new pellet stove, or you want to make the switch over, then our best pellet stove reviews can help you.
- 1 Top 5 Best Pellet Stoves in 2017 – Short Reviews
- 2 What are the Benefits of Pellet Stoves?
- 3 Are There Any Disadvantages?
- 4 How Does a Pellet Stove Work?
- 5 Different Types of Pellet Stoves
- 6 How to Determine What Size Pellet Stove You Need
- 7 How Much do they Cost?
- 8 Additional Costs of Owning a Pellet Stove
- 9 Conclusion
Top 5 Best Pellet Stoves in 2017 – Short Reviews
Now that we’ve gone over everything you need to know about these appliances, it’s time to go over some pellet stove reviews.
As mentioned earlier, pellet stoves can get pretty expensive. But you would be surprised to know that you can find cheap pellet stoves if you look in the right places.
In the following reviews, we are going to go over high quality pellet stoves for sale, as well as pellet stove insert reviews. Keep reading on to learn about some inexpensive and top rated pellet stoves.
|Product Name||Range||Burning time||Quality||Price||Our Rating|
|Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22||2,000 sq. ft||12-24 hrs||A+||$$$$|
|Nextstep Freestanding Wood|
|1290 sq. ft||12-35 hrs||A||$$$|
|Nextstep Freestanding Electric|
Fireplace Pellet Stove Heater
|645 sq. ft||7-13 hrs||A||$$$|
|Pleasant Hearth Cabinet Style|
|2200 sq. ft||24-70 hrs||A+||$$$$|
|Castle 12327 Wood Pellet Stove||1500 sq. ft||12-24 hrs||A+||$$$|
Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22
Nextstep Freestanding Wood Pellet Stove
Nextstep Freestanding Electric Fireplace Pellet Stove Heater
Pleasant Hearth Cabinet Style Pellet Stove
Castle 12327 Wood Pellet Stove
What are the Benefits of Pellet Stoves?
They are commonly used for a reason. People gain several benefits (aside from saving money) from switching their main source of heat from oil, electricity, and gas.
Let’s dive into some of the advantages you can experience when choosing a pellet stove.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
While there are indeed many benefits of pellet stoves, we can’t forget that like anything else, there are a few disadvantages.
Upfront costs can be a hassle for many, making it an unattractive choice in the short term. The additional hassle with pellets can be troublesome for someone who doesn’t have enough storage to keep a good supply on hand.
Overall, if you’re looking for an alternative way to heat your living space or home in order to save money, a pellet stove could be a good choice for you.
How Does a Pellet Stove Work?
Basically, a pellet stove is able to burn a consistent flame that you don’t need to tend to. To understand more about what a pellet stove is and how it works, it would be beneficial to go over it’s different parts and functions:
- Heat-exchange tubes – These tubes send the heated air into the room or space that needs to be heated.
- Hopper – Hoppers are where the pellets are stored before they are used for burning.
- Convection fan – This is what helps circulate the air through and from the heat-exchange tubes into the room it’s in.
- Burn pot – This is where the pellets end up to be burnt to create heat.
- Auger – The auger brings the pellets to the burn pot from the hopper.
- Ash pan – Ash is collected here so it doesn’t build up in the burn pot.
- Grille – The griller lets the air from the room get inside the stove via the convection fan.
- Intake vent – This is what pulls air into the burn pot so the burning gets enough oxygen.
- Exhaust vent – This vent takes away any smoke or gases caused by combustion.
- Combustion fan – Combustion fans on pellet stoves pull air from outside while exhausting gases.
As you can tell, pellet stoves work by burning pellets to create heat. The pellets are usually a product of either sawdust or wood shavings.
Pellets are super compressed to be dense and low in moisture in order to create hotter flames. While that in itself may sound pretty old school, pellet stoves are a bit more technological than one would assume.
These machines run off electricity and contain motorized pieces. Pellets make their way through the stove by starting out In the hopper. Then the auger delivers pellets into the burn pot.
The faster the auger moves, the hotter the stove. Pellets are burnt in the burn pot while ashes are caught in the ash pan.
Pellet stoves heat rooms through what is called convection which relies on a combination of both cool and hot air.
Through convection, the pellet stove’s burn pot is able to create hotter flames, making the pellets more effective and even burning. As heated air move through the heat-exchange tubes, clean air is released into your home.
As for the gases, the pellet stove creates, those are released through a narrow pipe that is located on the stove’s backside.
Depending on the type of pellet stove, it can be vented through a chimney or through a pipe directed outside.
A thermostat helps control how many pellets are being dropped into the burn pot in order to prevent overheating.
More pellets in the burn pot (aka the faster the auger moves) means the pot will burn at a higher temperature. Vacuum sensors may be used to shut the pellet stove down when dangerous conditions are detected.
Most pellet stoves need daily maintenance, meaning the ash pan needs to be cleaned of it’s ashes. The best thing to use for this is an ash vacuum which is specially designed to remove ash.
You can usually buy these with a pellet stove kit to help make cleaning the stove’s interior easier.
In order to operate, a pellet stove needs to be ignited. Some can be lit manually, while most models these days have an automatic ignition built in.
The igniter is very similar to the electric cigarette lighter heating coil that is found in many car models. Automatic ignition systems are able to have thermostats and remote controls implemented in them for easy use.
While a pellet stove can be used by itself, there are furnaces and boilers that are also available to enhance the stove’s decorative look. It is also possible to fit these units into your home’s existing heating system.
All it requires is some changes and work done with the system already in place.
Different Types of Pellet Stoves
As mentioned earlier, there are two main types of pellet stoves: freestanding and fireplace inserts.
- Freestanding pellet stoves resemble the typical conventional wood heater, and are usually good for heating one room.
- Fireplace inserts are placed in a fireplace, and utilize the chimney to emit it’s gases.
There are other types of pellet stoves that burn other fuels such as corn, seeds, grain, or wood chips.
How to Determine What Size Pellet Stove You Need
Pellet stoves come in many different sizes. The main difference that really matters when it comes to these appliances is their heating capacity.
Most pellet stoves range anywhere from 8,000 to 90,000 BTU per hour. Because of this, pellet stoves can be suitable for apartments and condominiums, as well as homes.
Generally speaking, 5,000 BTUs is ideal for up to 200 square feet. With that being said, 40,000 BTUs is strong enough to heat up a 2,000 square foot home efficiently as long as it is well insulated.
If you live somewhere where it gets cold, then you should look for a higher BTU capacity. If you live in a warmer region, then you can heat your home or unit with fewer BTU.
It’s always best to get only as much as you’ll need. If you live in a small apartment or studio, then it’s completely unnecessary and wasteful to burn a high capacity pellet stove on a low setting.
When choosing a pellet stove for your home, consider where the heat is needed the most, and place your stove strategically since the heat is going to be concentrated in the room it’s placed.
How Much do they Cost?
Pellet stove prices can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for the stove alone. Factor in at least an additional $300 for the vent pipe or liner so the stove can emit gases properly.
While it costs a bit of money upfront, pellet stoves have many advantages that we will cover later on.
Not only are you going to need to cough up for the stove itself, you’re most likely going to need a professional installation if you aren’t able to do it yourself.
The pipes are required to either run horizontally through an exterior facing wall, or vertically through the roof. Pipes aren’t required to be straight, making it easily adjustable to your home’s needs.
Even if your stove is placed into a chimney, a pipe is required to bring emissions all the way up the chimney.
For the installation itself, the costs vary from a couple hundred bucks up to $1000.
Of course, this is all going to depend on how complex the job is.
Remember to consider all the costs aside from the stove in order to plan accordingly to your budget.
Additional Costs of Owning a Pellet Stove
Similarly to a wood burning stove, a pellet stove is going to require maintenance and additional costs in order for it to keep functioning properly for your home.
Electricity is going to be one of the main costs, which means you’re going to want a battery backup for emergencies, such as when the power goes out.
A generator to use for power outage for your stove will usually cost a couple hundred dollars.
Another obvious cost is going to be the pellets your pellet stove is going to burn.
These pellets come in 40 pound bags. It may be tempting to opt for the cheaper pellets, but it could be in your best interest to invest in great quality pellets rather than the cheapest ones.
This is because the ash content from pellets are different.
One of the best brands of pellets may only leave behind less than 1% of ash content while lower quality pellets can leave on average 6%. This will require you to spend more time cleaning out the ash pan.
People on average are using anywhere from 1-3 or even 4 tons of pellets in a year. On average, 2-3 tons of quality pellets is going to cost around $200-$250 per year.
When considering pellets for your stove, it’s always better to choose high quality and to be consistent with the brand you use.
Inconsistent wood quality has negative effects on a pellet stove over time. Low quality pellets will give you problems that could have easily been avoided by using better quality pellets.
If you don’t live close to a pellet provider, then you should also consider the shipping costs of your pellets. All of these additional costs may sound intimidating, for many homes, it’s actually worth it in the long run.
Overall, the costs of running and owning a pellet stove will turn out to be less than running a gas heater throughout the year.
All the pellet stoves we covered are on market for under 2000 dollars. In order to determine which one is the best, you will need to consider your circumstances.
If you live in a small apartment, then the Nextstep Freestanding Electric Fireplace Pellet Stove Heater is the best choice.
If you are looking to heat up a large home for your family, then the best option is the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22.
Overall, the pellet stoves covered are good choices and are inexpensive, affordable options to choose from.