Pellet stoves are most commonly found in freestanding form where heat is typically generated for a single room by using a distribution blower inside the stove to disperse heat around the room.
However, pellet stoves can also be found in forms other than just freestanding space heaters and can be used to heat more than just one room.
Pellet stoves in the form of hydro pellet stoves, ducted pellet stoves or pellet boilers/furnaces can be used to help heat a whole house. It may also be possible to heat a much of a home if a large air-heating pellet stove is installed in the middle of an open-plan house.
Our own pellet stove is a freestanding air-heating version, meaning that it uses a distribution blower to spread the heat around our living room that it’s installed within, and we only intended for it to heat that room.
Had we wanted to be able to use a pellet stove to heat our whole house we could have opted for another form of stove that would connect to the central heating or work with a network of ducts to spread the hot air further around the house.
We’ve explained in more detail below using our own pellet stove as an example:
- Whether a pellet stove can be used to heat a whole house.
- What forms of pellet stove you should consider when looking to heat a whole house.
- How well a pellet stove can heat a whole house.
Can A Pellet Stove Heat A Whole House?
When looking to a buy a pellet stove you’ll commonly come across the freestanding pellet stove version.
Freestanding pellet stoves use integrated blowers to directly heat the room that they’re installed within. Our own pellet stove is a freestanding air-heating version and we installed it for the sole purpose of heating our living room.
These freestanding forms of pellets stove, that are usually installed in a home to heat one room only (or a small area of a house) and heat the room by blowing hot air, can typically be identified by a grille-like feature on the front of the stove.
If you’re looking to heat a whole house then in the large majority of cases you won’t want to be looking at space heating pellet stove like the one we have.
Although some of the heat generated by our pellet stove does make its way into other rooms, it’s not sufficient enough to be used as a way to heat the whole house. The only exception can be when you have a very open plan house and install a large air-heating pellet stove at the centre.
Thankfully there are other models of pellet stove available that are catered specifically for installations where the heating of a whole home is required.
If you’re looking to heat a whole house with a pellet stove then the particular models of stove you’ll want to look out for include:
- Ducted pellet stoves
- Hydro pellet stoves
- Pellet boilers
These forms of pellet stove are more suited for whole-house heating installations rather than room-specific heating installations, and we’ve explained more about them below.
Ducted Pellet Stoves
Ducted pellet stoves work in a similar way to freestanding pellet stoves in that they generate warmth through forcing hot air out of the stove.
The main difference for ducted pellet stoves is that the hot air is conveyed to other rooms in the house via a network of ducts, rather than being blown out only into the room the stove is located in.
Ducted pellet stoves can be more of a bespoke installation as you’ll need the ducts and outlets to be installed alongside the stove itself.
Another downside to ducted pellet stoves is that the heat may only be able to reach a certain distance away from the stove and so if you’re looking to heat a larger sized home you may want to look at other forms of pellet stove.
However, modern technology used with certain models of ducted pellet stoves can allow you to alter the heat coming out of each outlet for more control over the temperature in each room.
Hydro Pellet Stoves
Hydro pellet stoves are designed to connect up to the central heating system in your home and can act as an alternative to using a traditional gas boiler.
A hydro pellet stoves can look just like a standard air-heating freestanding version and can have the flames viewable through the glass front.
The main difference is that there won’t be a vent outlet on the front of the stove as it will be connected up to the central heating pipes out the back rather than blowing hot air through the front.
Hydro pellet stoves are more commonly used for central heating purposes where hot water is provided to radiators across the house and instantaneous hot water isn’t required.
They can still be used to provide domestic hot water however, but you’ll typically need to look at installing one of the more powerful forms of hydro pellet stove and may need to be complimented with other domestic hot water components.
Although hydro pellet stoves may not be able to provide central heating as quick as a gas boiler, pellet stoves have the benefits of being extremely efficient and clean burning, and use renewable sources of fuel such as wood by-products.
Pellet boilers (also known as pellet furnaces) are another form of pellet stove that can be used to help heat a whole house.
The main difference with pellet boilers is that they’re used less for viewing pleasure and more for functionality purposes.
This is because you typically won’t find front-facing glass in which to view the fire through and so pellet boilers are more suited for installations in areas of a home that are out of the way, such as in garages.
Pellet boilers can be much larger in size compared to other forms of pellet stove but can hold more pellets at any one time and can have the heating output capacity to heat larger sized homes.
How Well Does A Pellet Stove Heat A Whole House?
A pellet stove can do a great job at heating a whole house if the right heat output stove is installed to suit the size of home. Pellet stoves that heat water for circulation around the house can often be a better solution compared to pellet stove that blow hot air when looking to heat a whole house.