Understanding the total life costs of a pellet stove can help potential buyers to make a decision on what model of pellet stove to go for, or even whether to go for a pellet stove as a home heating appliance at all.
With a range of fireplaces and stoves available to choose from including gas, electric and wood inserts and stoves, taking purchase price, installation and running costs for each type of fireplace and comparing them against each other can help you to figure out which would be the most efficient form of heating over the lifetime of the appliance.
The average cost of buying a pellet stove can be between $1,700 and $3,000, while installation costs for pellet stoves can be from a couple of hundred to up to and over $1,000. Pellet stove running costs for both electric and pellets can be approximately $50 per month.
We’ve recently had a pellet stove installed in our living room and so we’ve put this article together to explain using our own pellet stove installation as an example:
- How much a pellet stove costs.
- How much it costs to install a pellet stove.
- How much is costs to run a pellet stove.
- Whether pellet stoves are cost effective or expensive to run.
How Much Does A Pellet Stove Cost?
The average cost of a pellet stove is indicated to be between $1,700 and $3,000 but this can vary depending on the make and model of stove, the build quality and quality of materials used, the efficiency rating, size, heat output potential, and type.
As with many other types of fireplaces and stoves, pellet stoves can have a range of sizes to suit different heating situations.
Larger rooms or spaces can require a greater heat output potential from a stove, and this can in turn require a larger sized stove that demands a higher purchase price.
The type of pellet stove can also largely influence the cost.
We’ve explained the different types of pellet stove for heating a house in more detail here but hydro pellet stoves or pellet boilers can also demand a higher price tag compared to traditional air-heating pellet stoves.
‘Most pellet stoves cost between $1,700 and $3,000.’Energy.gov
As an example, our own pellet stove cost $2,100 (£1500) to purchase.
This cost was simply just the purchase price of the stove and didn’t include any installation components or bags of pellets. This purchase price did include delivery however, and it arrived on a pallet.
We bought this pellet stove as a way to heat our living room without needing to turn on the gas central heating. As a result, this stove is sized to heat that room only.
Our stove is the more common air-heating freestanding type and forces hot air out into the room using a distribution blower.
Had we wanted to be able to heat the whole house with a pellet stove then we would have needed to look at a larger size stove with a greater heat output potential (and locate it in a more open area of the house) or look into buying a form of hydro pellet stove that would be connected up to the central heating and potentially also provide domestic hot water.
The purchase price for a pellet stove will vary between each model and manufacturer and can come down to a range of factors including personal preferences, heating requirements and area of residence.
Factors that can affect the cost of a pellet stove can include:
- Type of pellet stove. Hydro pellet stoves may cost more than traditional air-heating pellet stoves, and large pellet boilers can in turn be more expensive than hydro pellet stoves.
- Size of pellet stove. Larger sized pellet stoves can come with more materials and more construction associated costs and can demand a higher price tag as a result.
- Heat output potential. The maximum heat output of a pellet stove can coincide with the size as higher heat outputs will require larger fires and more storage for the pellets.
- Make and model. Premium quality pellet stoves from more reputable brands can demand a higher price tag, as well as stove that use higher quality materials and have a better build quality.
- Efficiency. More efficient pellet stoves are able to extract more heat from every piece of fuel but this can require more research and development to reach higher efficiency numbers and can lead to a higher priced stove as a result. We have an article explaining more about pellet stove efficiency here.
To understand the cost of purchasing a pellet stove that is right for you and your home, check out the range of pellet stoves available to purchase near you and speak to a manufacturer or reseller for help and advice on the right type and size of pellet stove for your particular situation.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Pellet Stove?
The average cost to install a pellet stove in a home can be between $500 and $1,000, but the cost can increase in more difficult installation situations. Installing a pellet stove up against an external wall and venting externally rather than venting straight through the roof can keep costs much lower.
The cost of installation of a pellet stove can vary much more significantly than the actual cost of the stove.
As each installation is different there are a range of factors that can affect how easily the ventilation system in the form of a chimney flue can be installed.
Pellet stoves used forced ventilation in the form of a combustion blower inside a fume extractor and therefore don’t need to rely solely on the natural movement of air, known as the draft.
As a result, in most circumstances a pellet stove can be vented horizontally through an external wall of a home for both waste and clean air.
We’ve installed our own pellet stove up against an external wall and had a flue installed through this external wall and up the outside of the house.
This arrangement can be far less expensive than installing a flue straight through the roof of a home, and you can expect a pellet stove installation using an external flue to cost on average in the region of $500 to $1,000 (£350 to £700).
Installations of pellet stoves where the flue is vented internally can be much more expensive.
Being able to vent a pellet stove horizontally can also help make them less expensive compared to installing other forms of wood stove, as Energy.gov explains:
‘A pellet stove is often cheaper to install than a convention wood-burning heater. Many can be direct-vented to the room and do not need an expensive chimney or flue. As a result, the installed cost of the entire system may be less than that of a conventional wood stove.’Energy.gov
Installation of our own pellet stove (excluding the cost of the stove but including parts and labor) came to approximately $900 (£650).
It may also be possible to use an existing open fireplace chimney as a way to vent a pellet stove. See our article in pellet stove venting requirements for more information.
Components that you’ll need to consider when understanding costs of installing a pellet stove in your home include:
- The chimney flue
- Hearth pad (if putting the stove on a combustible floor)
- Air vent (if looking to vent fresh air externally rather than internally)
- Separate air vent (potentially required elsewhere in the room if venting internally and if required by building codes/regs)
- Electric requirements, such as providing an electrical connection to the stove if there isn’t one nearby (as pellet stoves require electricity)
The range of factors that can influence the cost of installing a pellet stove in your home can include:
- Manufacturer guidelines
- Local building codes and regulations
- Installation location of stove
- Venting type (vertically through roof or horizontally through external wall)
- Venting requirements and length of flue required
- Any other fittings and fixtures required to have a pellet stove installed
As every installation is different, speak to a manufacturer or get a quote from a local installer to help firm your understanding of the costs associated with installing a pellet stove in your home.
How Much Does It Cost To Run A Pellet Stove?
It can cost up to $150 per month to run a pellet stove for 24 hours a day, but the average cost to run a pellet stove is typically $50 dollars per month when factoring in the cost of the pellets, electricity, maintenance and upkeep.
When understanding how much it would cost to run a pellet stove in your particular area of residence the following should be considered:
- The cost of the pellets
- Electricity costs to run a pellet stove
- Maintenance/servicing to be undertaken periodically by a qualified technician
- Spare parts for when something goes wrong
- Annual sweeping of the chimney flue
Pellet Stove Pellet Costs
We’ve discussed how many pellets a pellet stove will typically use in more detail in another article here, but a 40lb bag of pellets can be expected to last for 24 hours of burning on average.
A ton of pellets (2000lb) will usually consist of 50 40lb-bags. A ton of pellets can cost up to $250, which equates to $5 per bag. Expect delivery costs on top of this with costs increasing for more rural areas.
If a pellet stove is used for 8 hours a day then expect 10 bags of 40lb pellets to be used per month, which can equate to $50 in fuel costs.
Pellet Stove Electricity Costs
Pellet stoves are electronic appliances and require a source of electricity in order to operate.
Electricity costs should therefore be taken into account, but pellet stoves don’t typically use much electricity and so costs per month should be low. See our other article on pellet stove energy efficiency for more information on electricity running costs for pellet stoves.
As an example, our pellet stove uses 130W of electricity per hour.
If running a pellet stove for 8 hours a day then expect electricity costs to be no more than $10 per month on average.
Pellet stoves are highly automated forms of home heating appliance but a downside is the requirement to keep pellet stoves clean and well-serviced to maintain this.
We’ve discussed the reliability of pellet stoves and whether pellet stoves are high maintenance in other articles, but expect to need to have a professional take a look at a pellet stove periodically to undertake servicing and cleaning.
This cost can differ between areas and so getting a quote for your particular area of residence will give you can idea of yearly maintenance costs for your own pellet stove.
As explained in our other article on pellet stove life expectancy, expect a pellet stove to last around 10-15 years on average but keeping a pellet stove going this long may involve replacing any worn parts later in the stove’s life.
Manufacturers of pellet stoves will usually have a spare parts list (ours is outlined within the instruction manual) and the manufacturer can usually be contacted for prices.
Are Pellet Stoves Expensive (Or Cheap) To Run?
Pellet stoves are typically more expensive to run compared to other forms of wood stove that use firewood rather than pellets, but provide the advantage of being far more automated. Firewood costs can be minimal if sourced locally but pellets must be manufactured and delivered.
Are Pellet Stoves Cost Effective?
Pellet stove can be considered cost effective when higher heating automation is desired over manual input of fires, and when pellets can be sourced locally without high purchase and delivery costs.
Pellet stoves can also be considered to be cost effective because they typically have very high efficiency ratings and are considered to be the most efficient form of home solid fuel burning appliance.