Wood Pellets Vs Propane Fireplace: All You Need To Know

wood pellets vs propane

Selecting between wood pellets vs propane fireplace may be a difficult decision. These two options offer users a lot of unique advantages. Nevertheless, there’re also some disadvantages associated with each option as well. In this post, we will introduce some useful tips that you should consider when choosing between wood pellets vs propane fireplace.

Pellet Stove Vs Propane Fireplace: All You Need To Know

Which One Is The Most Suitable For Your House: Wood Pellets Vs Propane Fireplace ?

About Propane Fireplace

You may think that the only usage of the fireplace is for decoration. However, on the contrary, it is much more efficient than what you think. Especially, when coming to propane fireplace, its heating efficiency is what you should take into consideration. Propane has been a popular gas, which is widely used for both stoves and fireplaces due to its low cost as well as its easy-to-start-fire property.

Propane fireplace was created to put an end to severe smoke’s difficulty, which is important in many types of vintage wood fireplaces. As propane fireplace utilizes propane to heat your home, so there aren’t any particulate components being scattered in the air.

Nevertheless, this kind of heater releases CO in a controlled amount. Or in other words, the amount of CO created by a propane fireplace is the same as that of a pellet stove. 7,5 grams/hour is the maximum amount of carbon monoxide discharged into our environment by this fireplace.

The Pros of Using Propane Fireplace over Pellet Stove

  • Three Kinds of Models

Propane fireplace comes with some models for you to pick, including direct vent, vent-free, and natural vent. Those models ensure that there’s always an appropriate type for your house, according to your budget and space restrictions. In fact, venting is necessary for all of the wood-burning fireplaces. Besides, a chimney and a flue, which support air circulation, are also needed.

  • A Peace of Mind

Pellet stove needs a lot of effort to create the fire. You have to put up the kindling, then, set pellets on fire and regulate the fire. On the other hand, propane fireplace only requires a click of the switch, and then, you can turn it off in case you do not need it. Your house is heated quickly through radiant or convective schemes. This kind of equipment can also be controlled by using remote, which supports easy control of fire and heat.

  • Flame Adjustment

With a propane fireplace, adjusting the fire is a very simple task. A damper, which is commonly used with many wood burning fireplaces, isn’t even useful or necessary. Unlike coal or burning wood in the fireplace, the efficiency of propane heating is up to 92%, in comparison to 60% of wood heating.

The Pros of Using Propane Fireplace
Photo Credit: diversifiedenergy.com
  • Easy to Maintain

The propane fireplace is easier to clean and maintain because there aren’t any ashes and log debris, compared with pellet stoves. Gas fireplace only requires occasional maintenance, commonly just an inspection every year, which only costs from 75$ to 150$.

  • Clean Burning

As compared to wood pellets, natural gas always burns cleaner, thus, emitting less pollution and soot. Moreover, a propane fireplace will not cause any respiratory problems.

In general, it creates a roaring fire, which requires minimal cleanup and needs no tending. You can easily find the only parts that you have to clean, especially, with the help of detailed instruction in the manual.

  • Easy to Install

The best advantage of using a propane fireplace is that you can install it with any gas fireplaces, regardless its location, either outside or inside your house. Do not worry about the location and size of propane tank because its size relies on the users’ expected usage. Besides, the place you put your fireplace may not be static.

You can both install it on the ground or bury it. Anyway, propane fireplace is such a great way to ensure that you will always have easy access to your home heating at all costs. It is an inexpensive and highly efficient way to keep your house warm and safe during the cold winter.

The Cons of Using Propane Fireplace

  • Propane ISN’T a Renewable Energy Source

Sourced from the treasure fossil fuels, propane is not a renewable energy. Because it isn’t renewable, so, it is controlled. Due to this, the price of fireplaces always fluctuates from time to time.

On the other hand, pellet stove utilizes wood, which is cheap and renewable. In addition, wood is always available as well.

  • More Expensive

Propane fireplace tends to be expensive. In some cases, it also costs more to operate. Nevertheless, the operating price mainly relies on the price of gas, which usually fluctuates.

The Cons of Using Propane Fireplace
Photo Credit: vasculata.com
  • Not a Real Fire

Propane fireplace utilizes artistic brick logs to emit heat and create the aesthetic vibe of traditional fires. Unfortunately, this trick does not always work. Propane heater lacks the logs’ cracking and aromatic smoke’s authenticity. However, the flames’ dancing is lovely enough for you to satisfy.

Regarding ambience, nothing can compare to traditional fireplaces. Although the flame created by a propane fireplace can be as eye-catching as the one created by a wood burning fireplace, the vibe is not the same. The fire coming from wood burning fireplace has a unique aura of warmth, coziness, and romance that no modern fireplaces can provide.

Related: Pellet Stove Vs Wood Stove: Which is Better?

About the Pellet Stoves

Because the materials of wood pellets can be recycled, so they are very friendly to our environment. Moreover, the wood pellet is also heavily compressed to reduce its moisture content. Since dry fuel can create more heat, thus, the pellets are able to burn cleaner and hotter as compared to other wood counterparts.

On the other hand, wood pellet stove emits fewer pollutants, in comparison with other traditional fireplaces. According to many environmentalists, this kind of stove is considered as carbon neutral. The fact is that pellet is made from plants, which live on carbon.

Thus, they neutralize each other. Besides, the pellet is also inexpensive, and you can always purchase it in small quantities whenever you need. The price of pellets is even lower than firewood’s cord.

It is difficult to consider the disadvantages of a wood pellet stove when seeing a lot of benefits that it offers. However, it is the fact that there are still some drawbacks. The cost of this stove usually ranges between 1700$ and 3000$ and the installation is required, so there will be an extra cost that you must consider.

Pellet stoves are mainly manufactured in cold climates like the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, buying one from an authorized dealer in your local means that you will pay more for the freight costs. In addition, if your living space is limited, you have to go on many trips to the stores to purchase enough pellets for the winter.

Moreover, maybe your local store does not offer enough pellets, then you must get another store in another place to deliver enough amount for you and indeed, you have to pay more for the shipping costs.

The Pros of Pellet Stove
Photo Credit: greenmountainhearth.com

The Pros of Pellet Stove

  • Less Expensive

Pellet stove tends to be cheaper than propane fireplace. In spite of being less efficient, the pellet stove is cheaper to operate because of the fact that propane is usually much more expensive than pellets.

  • Generate More Heat

Pellet stove tends to generate much more heat than propane fireplace at the same size. It is a better option if you want to heat a large area of your house or the whole of it, instead of a single room.

  • Renewable Fuel

Because wood pellet is renewable, it is considered as more eco-friendly as compared to fossil fuels like propane and natural gas.

  • Friendly to Environment

Pellet stove emits almost no smoke, and in fact, there’re some models that are more efficient as they can be vented to a room. Thus, they are ideal for condominiums, apartments and small homes. In addition, because pellets are made from wood waste, so using them is a kind of recycling and keeping the wood particles out of the landfills.

The Cons of Pellet Stove

  • High Maintenance

Pellet stove requires constant attention because you have to load it, light it and tend to it. It also needs regular cleaning. In case you would rather just on/off switch and flip, then, the pellet stove may not be an ideal choice.

  • Not Clean Burning

Wood pellet burns less clean than natural gas, therefore, it is not a good option if you or your family members have respiratory problems like asthma.

Related: A Complete Guide to Pellet Stove Inserts Installation


Do pellets last longer than propane?

Wood pellets can last much longer than propane, depending on the size of your pellet grill. A large hopper can hold up to 40 pounds or more of pellets, while a propane tank typically holds no more than 20 gallons. Pellets require less refilling and maintenance than propane, so they often last significantly longer.

Can you use wood pellets in a propane grill?

No, you cannot use wood pellets in a propane grill. Pellets require a specific type of burner to properly burn and create the smoke needed for the flavor. Therefore, it is not possible to convert a propane grill into one that uses wood pellets as fuel.

However, some combination grills on the market are designed to use both wood pellets and propane. These grills have separate burners for each fuel, allowing you to switch between them depending on your preference.

What Should You Go For? Wood Pellets or Propane Fireplace?

Pellet Stove or Propane Fireplace
Photo Credit: bestfire.com

According to my experience, wood pellets vs propane fireplace has it’s own pros and cons but I am still more inclined to propane fireplace.

Economical, quick and clean, propane fireplaces can be controlled by a remote or a thermostat. Moreover, they can be used without electricity or traditional chimney, although you would not want to use a blower in a blackout. In comparison with pellets and cordwood, propane fireplaces are the most efficient ones.

Besides, they also emit the least particulate matter. They are perfect for those who live in Franklin and Chittenden county towns, which are on the natural gas lines.

When you are doing gas, you are looking at a typically busy lifestyle that you can have a fire in just 20 minutes while enjoying your morning coffee. And you can enjoy the warmth without having to turn on the central heating system in late fall or early spring – also known as the “Shoulder seasons.”

However, the flame created by propane fireplace may be a drawback for some people. Although the manufacturers have tried to improve its appearance over the time, some critics are still disappointed with this mechanical flame.


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