Tips for Buying a Pellet Stove - Part 1 of 2

Many people have discovered the benefits of pellet stoves. Perhaps you’re considering the myriad of reasons? Let us simplify it. One of the most prominent reasons people install pellet stoves is to reduce heating costs – especially in homes with central heat sources fueled by propane, fuel oil or electricity. You can calculate your approximate savings using this pellet fuel savings calculator. And there are other benefits as well...

Pellet Stove 101
Pellet stoves are similar in appearance to free-standing wood stoves and burn renewable pellets made of condensed biomass materials, like wood chips and sawdust. Depending on the size of the stove and the floor plan, a pellet stove can heat all or part of a home. They can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of other renewable energy systems like solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and wind turbines.

Innovative technologies have made pellet stoves convenient, easy-to-use, highly efficient and environmentally responsible. Today’s pellet stoves are smart, with programmable thermostats that adjust heat output and control room temperature. In addition to creating very little ash, some models have automatic cleaning cycles and can produce heat for up to 24 hours on a single hopper of pellets. Due to pellet density and high burn efficiencies, pellet stoves emit extremely low outside air particulates, and some stoves can be up to 89% efficient.

Many homeowners install a pellet stove to work in conjunction with their existing central furnace or boiler. Efficiencies are gained by turning the central furnace temperature down 10-15 degrees and using the pellet stove to zone heat the rooms that are used the most, such as the family or living room areas. Similar to the concept of a hybrid car, the pellet stove does the primary heating with the furnace as a backup – working together to gain efficiencies and a more environmentally responsible outcome.

Examples of technologies that boost performance and efficiency are Harman's Pellet Pro System™ and Exhaust Sensing Probe™.

Quick Facts

  • Many pellet stoves can provide 24 hours of steady heat for as little as $3 per day, and can be up to 89% efficient.
  • Depending on the size of the stove and the floor plan, some pellet stoves can heat up to it 2,500 square feet.
  • Pellet stoves expel extremely low particulate emissions due to high burn efficiency and the density of the pellet fuel.
  • According to the Pellet Fuels Institute, burning one ton of pellets instead of oil reduces carbon emissions by nearly 1.5 tons.
  • Pellet stoves help homeowners get closer to “living off the grid” and produce less greenhouse gases than fossil fuel systems.

Watch for Part 2 of this blog series coming soon! We’ll talk about installation, fuel, use and maintenance and more. Meanwhile, you can check out pellet stoves here.