Energy efficiency has become more of a deciding factor when it comes to choosing any form of home appliance.
Pellet stoves are electric heating appliances and need a source of electricity in order to work.
Electric fireplaces can draw a lot of electricity because they use electricity as the sole form of fuel. Pellet stoves on the other hand use pellets as the fuel but need electricity in order to work the many number of electrical and mechanical components, and so how is the energy efficiency of pellet stoves?
Pellet stoves are generally very efficient forms of home appliance and don’t typically use as much electricity as other forms of electric fireplace or stove. A pellet stove uses more energy during ignition and so can be less energy efficient if started up multiple times.
Our pellet stove has a much lower power consumption compared to our electric stove, but the consumption can still add up when started more often and left running for long periods of time.
We’ve explained in more detail below using our own pellet stove as an example:
- Whether pellet stoves use a lot of electricity.
- The electricity power consumption of our own pellet stove
- Whether pellet stoves are energy efficient.
While this article discusses the energy efficiency of pellet stoves and electricity usage, we have another article on pellet stove combustion efficiency that discusses the combustion efficiency of pellet stoves, often referred to as a percentage.
Do Pellet Stoves Use A Lot Of Electricity?
Pellet stoves can use on average just over 100W of energy during normal use but up to 500W during ignition of a fire. A pellet stove can use on average 1kWh of energy per day if used for 8 straight hours.
Pellet stove don’t typically use much more electricity than many other electrical appliances that you’ll commonly find in a home, and running a pellet stove can be comparable to using a TV in terms of energy consumption.
For example, our own pellet stove has an average power consumption of 130W.
This is comparable to the energy consumption of a standard 40-50 inch sized TV.
The only time a pellet stove would use more energy would be during ignition. For example, our own pellet stove has an average energy consumption of 430W, but ignition of a fire doesn’t typically take too long and so the overall energy consumption per hour is still low.
However, comparing this to our electric fireplace stove which has a power consumption of 1850W on full heat or 925W on low heat, our pellet stove uses far less electricity when producing heat for our home.
The table below outlines the power consumption of our own particular models of appliances.
|130W (430W ignition)
|1850W (925W low heat)
If we were to use our pellet stove for around eight hours in a day then we would use approximately 1kWh of energy, which could equate to about $0.13 (£10p) for the days use.
On the other hand, if we used our electric stove for the same duration of 8 hours in a day, it would have consumed 14.8kWh of energy and the cost would be approximately 15 times greater than using the pellet stove in terms of energy.
In terms of expected monthly costs for using pellet stoves, Energy.gov explains that:
‘Under normal usage, they [pellet stoves] consume about 100kWh or about $9 worth of electricity per month.’Energy.gov
Are Pellet Stoves Energy Efficient?
Pellet stoves are highly efficient home heating appliances in terms of both the amount of heat they can produce from each piece of fuel and the electricity usage during operation.
Energy efficiency shouldn’t be confused with the combustion efficiency rating of the stove.
For example, our pellet stove has an efficiency rating of 87% but this refers to being able to produce heat from the fuel with minimal wastage in the form of ash or emissions.
On the other hand, our pellet stove also has an energy efficiency rating of A+, although this wasn’t shown on our stove when it arrived but can be seen on the manufacturer’s website.
This means that our pellet stove has been classed as very energy efficient, and the same can be said for most other forms of pellet stoves.
Pellet stoves use a range of mechanical and electrical components to help make the process:
- More automated
- Cleaner burning
Unlike electric fireplaces or stoves that use electricity as the fuel for heat, pellet stoves only use electricity to run the parts that helps to make them so automated and clean burning.
These parts include:
- Hopper auger delivering pellets to the fire.
- Combustion blower controlling airflow in and out of the stove.
- Distribution blower forcing the heat out into the room.
- Control unit managing all of the stove’s functions.
Electricity isn’t used to generate the actual heat in a pellet stove, otherwise electricity usage and costs would be much higher and pellet stoves would be far less energy efficient.
Instead, pellet stoves combust pellets as the source of fuel using a real fire to generate the heat. Pellets for pellet stoves are often made from recycled materials such as wood by-products in the form of chippings or sawdust.
The cost of the pellets will need to be considered alongside the cost of the electricity usage when understanding the total life costs of using a pellet stove to help heat a home.
Other forms of stove such as wood burning stoves don’t require a source of electricity and so energy efficiency doesn’t need to be considered with wood stoves, but combustion efficiency can still be an important factor.
However, wood burning stoves aren’t nearly as automated as pellet stoves and require manual lighting and maintenance of fires. As a result, wood stoves typically don’t reach the same combustion efficiencies as pellet stoves.
Our pellet stove has a much higher combustion efficiency compared to our two wood stoves (which you can read more about here), but electrical energy efficiency can’t be compared because only the pellet stove uses electricity.