Pellet Stove Pellets

How Many Pellets A Pellet Stove Uses (And How Long A Bag Lasts)

In Pellet Stoves by James O'KellyLeave a Comment

Understanding how many pellets a pellet stoves will use can help you to plan how many bags of pellets you need to order or even help you to understand whether it’s worth installing a pellet stove in the first place.

A range of factors can influence how many pellets a pellet stove will go through and this can include whether the stove is operating at low or high heat output settings.

Based on the average pellet stoves using a 40lb bag of pellets every 24 hours, a pellet stove will typically burn through 1.67lbs of pellets per hour. However, this amount can be more or less depending on the size and heat output potential of a pellet stove, among other factors.

Our own pellet stove goes through a similar number of pellets per hour as the typical average, but the number consumed can also be affected by a few settings.

We’ve explained in more detail below using our own pellet stove as an example:

  • Factors that can affect the burn rate of pellets.
  • The typical range of pellets consumed per hour.
  • How to check the pellet consumption rate of a pellet stove.
  • How long a bag of pellets will typically last.
  • How many bags of pellets you’ll typically need for a season.

How Many Pellets Does A Pellet Stove Use?

Pellet stoves require the use of pellets, commonly made from wood, to be used as the fuel in order to generate heat.

While other forms of stove such as wood burning require you to add the fuel manually to the fire, pellet stoves are electronic appliances and automatically feed the pellets to the fire in the combustion chamber from the integrated hopper by using a motorized auger.

Pellet Stove Hopper & Lid
The pellets for use in a pellet stove will need to be added to the hopper

All pellet stoves will go through the fuel in the form of pellets during operation at a certain rate. This will be known as the burn rate or the fuel consumption rate.

The number of pellets that a pellet stoves uses can range depending on a number of factors, including the:

  • Make and model of stove
  • Heat output potential of stove
  • Stove efficiency
  • Age and condition of stove

Expect a pellet stove on average to burn through approximately 1.67lbs of pellets per hour.

The burn rate of any particular model of pellet stove is often stated in the manual.

For example, the manual for own particular model of stove explains that the stove has a:

  • Minimum fuel consumption of 0.7kg/hour (1.54lb/hour)
  • Maximum fuel consumption of 1.525kg/hour (3.36lb/hour)
Pellet Stove Combustion Chamber
A pellet stove will deliver approximately 1.67lb of pellets per hour to the fire in the combustion chamber

The minimum fuel consumption for our pellet stove (typically where the stove is keeping the room at a constant temperature) is similar to the average estimated burn rate of any pellet stove.

However, our stove can also consume much more than the average and can be burning through more pellets per hour, most likely when trying to bring the temperature of the room up to the desired room temperature we’ve set. This will require more fuel than simply keeping the room at a constant temperature.

How Long Will A 40lb Bag Of Pellets Burn?

Based on the typical burn rate of pellets of 1.67lbs, a pellet stove can on average burn through a standard 40lb bag of pellets every 24 hours.

When this consumption rate of pellets is associated with the capacity of the hopper, the total burn time can be calculated.

We’ve discussed how long pellet stove can burn for in more detail in another article but many pellets stove (including ours) are able to burn for 24 hours continuously before more pellets will need to be added.

Both the fuel consumption and the hopper capacity will affect total burn time.

Bag Of Wood Pellets
Pellet stoves are deigned and built differently and can have differing fuel consumption rates and hopper capacities

Pellet stoves with larger capacity hoppers can hold more fuel, while pellets stoves with lower than average consumption rate of pellets can use less fuel per hour.

With a larger hopper capacity and lower pellet burn rate, a pellet stove can last for many hours before you need to re-fuel.

Based on a 40lb bag of pellets lasting for approximately 24 hours, a 20lb bag of pellets will therefore typically last for approximately 12 hours.

These figures are only averages and expect any particular model of pellet stove to deviate slightly from these burn rates and how long a bag of pellets will last.

See specific models of pellet stove for their individual pellet consumption rates.

How Many Bags Of Pellets In A Ton?

A standard 1 ton pallet holding bags of pellets will contain 2000lbs of pellets. Based on each bag of pellets typically containing 40lb of pellets there will be 50 bags of pellets in a ton.

How Many Bags Of Wood Pellets Do I Need?

Based on a household using an average of 3 tons of pellets per heating season and that there are 50 bags of pellets in a ton, the number of bags of pellets needed per burning season can be approximately 150.

Pellets for use with pellet stoves are most commonly sold in bags of 40lb (or 15kg bags in the UK).

The Pellet Fuels Institute explains:

A typical homeowner uses 3 tons of pellets per heating season.’


Based on each bag of pellets weighing 40lb and 1 ton equalling 2000lb, approximately 150 bags of pellets will be required to keep a pellet stove burning for a season.

Further Reading

Can You Burn Corn In A Pellet Stove?

How Long Do Pellet Stoves Last?

Can You Leave A Pellet Stove Unattended?

Things To Know About Pellet Stoves

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