Pellet stoves are considered to be the most efficient form of home heating appliance, with average efficiency ratings exceeding those of wood burning stoves.
This means that pellet stoves are able to burn their fuel extremely cleanly and produce a lot of heat, with minimal wastage in the form of ash or emissions.
However, pellet stoves require a source of electricity in order to work and must use manufactured fuel in the form of pellets, which can be difficult to source in more remote areas while firewood for wood burning stoves is always in plentiful supply.
So are pellet stoves worth it or not?
Pellet stoves offer one of the most convenient ways to heat a home using solid fuel thanks to automated burning. Pellet stoves are worth it when being able to heat a home with minimal user input outweighs the potential additional fuel costs and maintenance requirements.
We chose to have a pellet stove installed in our home rather than any other form of stove because we were looking for a way to help heat our living room without the hassle of needing to setup and maintain fires.
We also had an electrical outlet near to where we wanted our stove to be installed and pellets are readily available to buy where we live and don’t cost a fortune.
A pellet stove was worth it in our particular situation, but it may not be for others.
We’ve therefore explained in more detail below using our own pellet stove as an example whether pellet stoves are generally worth it or not, or whether you should consider looking at installing another form of wood stove or even another type of fireplace altogether.
Are Pellet Stoves Worth It?
Whether a pellet stove is worth it will be different for each individual situation.
Choosing whether to have a pellet stove in your home can come down to:
- The availability of pellets in your local area and the costs associated within burning pellets for heat compared to burning firewood in a wood burning stove, or gas for gas fireplaces.
- Whether you want the hard work to be done for you but lose out on the more traditional fireplace experience.
- Personal preference between pellet stoves, wood stoves and other forms of fireplace, such as looks. Pellet stoves can have a more contemporary look.
For example, we chose to have a pellet stove installed in our living room rather than a wood burning or multi fuel stove because it made more sense for what we wanted, being a way to help heat the room without requiring our constant attention. We simply wanted to be able to heat the room without needing to turn the central heating on.
In our situation, a pellet made sense and it was worth installing.
We’ve set it up to automatically turn on at certain times on certain days of the week thanks to a touch screen control panel and automated burning. It does make more noise than our wood stoves do but that’s one of the downsides of the automation.
Pellets are also in plentiful supply near to where we live, and the bags of pellets aren’t too costly.
Pros & Cons
Not all situations will be like ours and you may find that the cost of running a pellet stove is too great to justify installing one.
Before choosing whether to buy a pellet stove (or any other form of fireplace or stove) it’s always worth considering all of the factors that can influence the decision for your particular situation.
We’ve covered all of the pros and cons of pellet stoves in another article here, but in summary the main advantages of a pellet stoves include:
- High automation of fires with minimal user input for starting and maintaining fires.
- Clean burning, highly efficient and low emissions.
- Pellets are made from renewable materials and often recycled materials such as waste wood by-products including sawdust.
- More ways to install compared to other forms of wood stove.
On the other hand, the main disadvantages of a pellet stoves can include:
- Pellet stoves require electricity and can’t be used in a power outage unless using a backup battery of generator.
- Must use pellets, which are manufactured and can’t be sourced from your own property.
- Noisier than other forms of fireplace or stove.
- Flames aren’t as realistic.
- With electrical and moving parts there are more things to potentially go wrong.
For us, the advantages of a pellet stove outweighed the disadvantages.
Pellet stoves provide us with the ability to automatically heat our living room without any input from us. We just need to clean out the burn pot and ash tray before each fire and keep the hopper topped up with pellets.
We were also able to install it in the corner of our living room and vent through the external wall for ease of installation, which wouldn’t be possible with others forms of fireplace or stove.
We can put up with the extra noise generated by our pellet stove, we don’t get many power cuts and can source pellets locally at a relatively low cost, making a pellet stove worth it in our situation.
To understand whether a pellet stove is worth it for you you’ll need to consider all of the pros and cons of pellets stoves, and you can find our complete list of the pros and cons of pellet stoves here to help you decide.
Pellet Stoves vs Wood Stoves
Wood burning stoves or multi fuel stoves are other forms of stove that should be considered alongside pellet stoves.
We have both a multi fuel stove and a wood burning stove and they’re great at what they do but we also wanted help heating the house with less hassle of building and maintaining fires.
If you’re looking for the more traditional fireplace experience of building and maintaining fires with more realistic flames, then wood stoves can be a better option.
Advantages of wood stoves over pellet stoves can include:
- No electricity required and so can be used through power cuts.
- Uses firewood, which is in much more plentiful supply and can be sourced and seasoned from you own property to keep running costs to a minimum.
- No moving parts and so operates much quieter.
However, disadvantages of wood stoves and where you might consider pellet stoves to be worth it over wood stoves can include:
- The requirement to build, light and maintain each fire manually.
- Typically stricter installation requirements because they rely on natural venting rather than forced ventilation found in pellet stoves.
- Not as efficient on paper as pellet stoves.
We bought our pellet stove because it’s what we were looking for and the benefits outweighed the cons.
However, to understand whether a pellet stove is worth it in your particular situation you’ll need to consider:
- The cost of the stove.
- Installation requirements.
- The cost of installing the stove.
- Electricity running costs.
- The availability and cost of the pellets.
- The automation of pellet stoves vs the more traditional burning experience of wood stoves.
- Maintenance and parts costs.