While heating homes with a pellet stove may seem pretty behind the times, it is actually a more eco-friendly and more efficient way of heating since it uses highly combustible and recyclable materials.
Just to give you an idea, a pellet stove is like a traditional wood burning stove except that it uses small wood pellets instead of the usual big pieces of wood. These kinds of stoves are very useful and extremely compact.
If you want to find the best pellet stove for your home, check out our list and buying guide.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Pellet Stove
In our list, we have about 7 choices for the best pellet stove from our pellet stove reviews that you can take a look at.
However, it may be a bit hard to choose the most suitable for your home if you don’t know a thing or two about pellet stoves.
For that purpose, we came up with a short buying guide to help you out. In order to choose the best pellet stove, you may take these factors into consideration:
Pellet Stove Hopper Size
The first thing that you have to consider is the physical size. The size refers to the hopper of the stove or the amount of wood pellets that it can burn.
If the hopper is small, then the heat may not last too long since it can only carry a small number of pellets. However, bigger hoppers will allow the stove to heat up your room longer.
We also recommend that you get a stove with bigger hoppers if you’re going to use the stove for a long period of time.
For instance, you’ll find that stoves with bigger hoppers are ideal for long winter nights. They can go on for many hours without stopping since the big hoppers can hold a huge number of pellets.
Another thing that you need to take into consideration is the amount of heat it can produce.
In a general sense, the bigger-sized pellet stoves can produce more heat but that isn’t always the case. The more accurate way to measure the amount of heat your stove can produce would be in BTU or British Thermal Unit.
Obviously, the higher the BTU, the more heat you can produce. So, the bigger the room you want to heat, the higher the BTU of your stove should be.
Most quality pellet stoves have an average BTU of 30,000 or even higher depending on the brand. You may use this figure to determine the overall quality of a pellet stove’s heat output.
Another thing that you can take into consideration when buying your stove is the efficiency rating. You can inquire about the overall efficiency rating of the stove you’re looking at to have an informed decision.
The efficiency rating indicates how well the stove can give off heat. Obviously, the higher the efficiency rating, the better.
Average efficiency ratings would be around 70%. If you can find one that’s around 80 to 90%, that’s even better.
Generally, there are two types of pellet stoves that you can choose from. These are the wood stoves and the electric stoves.
The wood stoves are the traditional types of pellet stoves that can handle the usual wood pellets.
The second type is the electric stove which works quite like the wood stove but has added assistance from electricity. The extra energy allows your stove to heat up faster and stronger, which is useful for people during winter.
Placement of the Pellet Stove
Lastly, you have to consider your surroundings to know which pellet stove you should buy. Homeowners would usually consider insulation, number of windows, and ceiling height.
If your home already has a strong insulation, then you don’t need to buy a very strong pellet stove as you might receive too much heat.
Next, you need to consider how many windows you have in the house and what kind. If you have a lot of windows that are not in very good shape, you may need to buy a stronger pellet stove in the event that drafts can enter the house.
Lastly, you need to consider the ceiling height. If your ceiling is on the high side, you may need to buy a stronger pellet stove so that the heat can fill up even the lower portion of your house faster since heat usually rises upward.
How Does Pellet Stove Work?
Now that you’ve read our short but comprehensive buying guide, you’re now ready to choose your pellet stove. Before that though, we’d like to add a little more information for your benefit so that you can really get to know and be familiar with the pellet stove system.
With that, we’ll be explaining how pellet stoves work, and we’ll also be sharing a few pellet stove safety tips to avoid accidents.
Let’s start with how pellet stoves work.
Before knowing how pellet stoves work, you must know the important parts. The crucial components of a pellet stove include the storage hopper, the electric auger, the burn chamber, the blower, and air vent.
- When you heat your pellet stove, you’ll first pour pellets into the storage hopper.
- Once you put your pellets in, a sensor will prompt the electric auger to start carrying the pellets to the burn chamber one handful at a time.
- After the pellets reach the burn chamber, a combustion blower sucks the fresh air from outside through the air vent then exhumes the smoky air through another vent. This is how heat is produced.
- Now, you can control the temperature of heat by using the thermostat. The thermostat will tell the stove how strong it must deliver heat.
The great thing about pellet stoves is that they burn pellets at extremely high temperatures that there is almost no ash left after use. That way, there’s not much you need to throw after you’re done.
7 Best Pellet Stoves that You Should Definitely Check Out!
1. Castle Pellet Stove Serenity Pellet Stove
First on the list is the Castle Pellet Stove Serenity Model. If there’s one word that we could have for this pellet stove, it would probably be “smart”. That’s because it can be controlled with a Smart Controller wherein you can configure all settings easily.
If you take a look at the controller, you’ll see that you can control the thermostat, heat mode, and more. It’s not likethe traditional stoves where you need to manually adjust the settings without a remote.
With your remote, you can choose up to five burning levels to decide the temperature. Other than that, you can also set it to the local thermostat so that you can choose the best heating for the current temperature.
- Comes with a convenient smart control
- Has five burn levels
- Has a time-based heating setting
- Stylish design
- Easy to clean structure
2. Pleasant Hearth 35000 BTU Pellet Stove
If you’re looking for something that has high efficiency, then this is probably the pellet stove that you may want to get. This one has a heating capacity of 35000 BTU and can heat up a room that is up to 1750 square feet.
Other than heating capacity, this one is pretty known for its hopper size as well. With a 40-pound hopper, this machine has a burn time of up to 24 hours which means that it can last one whole day of continuous heating.
Also, it has an efficiency rate of 85%, which is higher than the average standard of 70%, making it a pretty good choice.
- Has a heating capacity of 35000 BTU
- Efficiency rate of 85%
- Comes with an outside air kit for overheating prevention
- 5 heat settings to choose from
- Effective comfort control system for easy use
3. ComfortBilt Pellet Stove
If we were to look for an extremely powerful pellet stove, then one we’d recommend is the ComfortBilt Pellet Stove. This one has a heating capacity that can heat up a really big room of up to 2800 square feet.
That said, this pellet stove has a horse power of 22 HP and a heating capacity of 50,000 BTU. That’s probably one of the strongest that you’ll be able to find in the market.
If you need to heat up a big room like your living room or your condo unit, maybe this choice is suited for you.
- Has a 55-pound hopper
- Extremely powerful pellet stove with 50000 BTU
- Glossy gray design
- Big viewing area to see the fire
- Easy top controls for setting configuration
4. Vogelzang Hopper Pellet Stove
If you thought that the ComfortBilt had the highest heat capacity out of all the pellet stoves on this list, then you’ll probably be a bit shocked to see the Vogelzang Hopper Pellet Stove.
This one has a whopping 65000 BTU, which has a coverage of up to more than 2800 square feet. If you have a big room that the 50000 BTU ComfortBilt still can’t seem to cover, then this right here is another great option.
In addition, it has a 120-pound pellet hopper that allows the machine to last very long with continuous use. This is very useful for winter seasons wherein you’ll experience very bitter cold. You can keep this on for up to 24 hours or longer without having to put a new set of pellets.
- Heating capacity of up to 65000 BTU
- Has a pellet capacity of up to 120 pounds
- Auto-ignition feature
- Easy to use LED thermostat
- Easy to clean air wash glass
5. US Stove Bayfront Pellet Stove
Unlike a lot of other pellet stoves that only have 5 heat settings, this one has a total of 6 heat settings.
This allows you more control over the exact temperature you want to have for your room heating. It’s a more versatile and flexible pellet stove in terms of overall heating when it comes to controlling the settings.
Also, this pellet stove has a digital control board that contains these six settings. With a LED display and a one touch control, it’s actually quite easy to change settings of this stove.
- Has a total of 6 heat settings allowing you to get the exact heat you need
- Easy to use digital controls with one touch configuration
- Large window viewer to see fire
- Automatic circulating blower for even distribution of heat
- Air wash glass
6. Pelpro Direct Vent Wood Pellet Stove
This is yet another very efficient EPA certified pellet stove. This one has an efficiency rating that’s pretty close to the Pleasant Hearth Pellet stove. It has an efficiency rating of 86.5% which is pretty impressive.
What makes this pretty different from the Pleasant Hearth stove is the hopper capacity. This one has a hopper capacity of 130 pounds, which is probably one of the biggest ones that you’ll be able to find anywhere.
With this high pellet capacity, you can keep this stove on for a really long time– probably even more than 24 hours.
- Has an 86.5% rate of efficiency
- Adjustable heat and auto ignition feature
- Very large hopper capacity of up to 130 pounds
- Able to burn both standard and premium wood pellets
- Durable iron built with large viewing glass
7. England Stove Works Evolution Wood Pellet Stove
If you’re looking for one of the best pellet stove insert for your existing fireplace, then you might want to consider this one.
By far, this one has the greatest number of heat settings of up to 9 heat settings for you to choose. It’s extremely useful for when you are very particular about temperature and you need to get the most perfect one for your room.
Aside from just heat settings, you’ll also notice that this one uses less fuel than most pellet stoves. With that, you can save money on gas as well as use it longer.
In fact, you can probably use it to up to 27 hours even if it has a 45 lbs. hopper.
- Easy to use digital control board
- Low emissions and less fuel used
- Has an ash drawer for cleaning out ash easily
- Roughly around 40,000 BTU
- Strong blower speed of 140 CFM
Pellet Stove Safety Tips
Pellet stoves make use of extremely high temperatures, so you have to be extremely careful with them. If you don’t follow safety measures, you may actually get hurt.
Here are a few safety tips that you need to take note of:
Keep Away from Combustible Items
This is a given but still, a safety measure that many take for granted. When you install your pellet stove, you need to keep it away from items like gas tanks, aerosol, paint thinners, varnish, or other things that have a “highly combustible” warning label.
Other than that, we recommend that you keep it away from further like sofas and chairs. This is especially true for wooden furniture since wood burns pretty easily.
Install Carbon Monoxide Sensors
A lot of homeowners buy carbon monoxide sensors along with their pellet stoves in order to prevent fumes from getting into the house.
Since pellet stoves make use of biomass components for heating, there would usually be some traces of carbon monoxide around the house. If the stove malfunctions, then a huge amount of carbon monoxide might get loose. The worst part is that you may not see the gas or even smell it until it totally fills up the house.
Therefore, to prevent inhaling too much poisonous gas, install a carbon monoxide sensor so that you can tell if there are traces of carbon monoxide right away.
Buy Pellets That Are Suited for Your Model
Not all pellets are suited for all models. There are some pellets that have different specifications and are more suited for this or that type of model.
If you use the pellet type that’s not suited for your model, your stove may not burn optimally or might burn too much to the point that it lets out a lot of harmful smoke and fumes.
The tip here is to see the organic ash percentage to know. Standard wood pellets have organic ash rates of around 0.5% or higher while premium ones have rates of less than 0.5%. Choose the pellet type that’s designed for your stove.
Read the Manual
This may be common sense, but a lot of people skip reading the manual before they use the stove. For most appliances, this won’t be much of a problem.
For pellet stoves though, you need to read the manual to the dot in order to know the specific safety measures for your model. Do not try to experiment with the pellet stove without fully reading and understanding the contents of your product’s manual first.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pellet Stove
Now that we’ve discussed some of the things to consider when buying a pellet stove and the list of the best pellet stoves to buy, you may still have some questions boggling your mind right now and still remain unanswered.
Here are a few FAQs that we find useful when getting to know the product:
Can I install a pellet stove myself?
Yes, you can install a pellet stove by yourself if you are installing a freestanding pellet stove. For pellet stove inserts though, we recommend that you get a professional to do it since that job is a little more difficult.
You would usually install a pellet stove an inch away from the rear wall and connected to the event. Buy a hearth pad and let the stove rest on the hearth pad. Then use a jab saw to cut a hole on the inside of the wall first, so you can install the vent thimble that will hold the vent pipe inside of it.
After that, connect the vent pipe that is already connected to wall to the stove. Make sure everything is installed tightly, and you can start using the stove.
Do I need a permit to install a pellet stove?
Yes.You will need a building permit to install a pellet stove. Before you even install the pellet stove, you’ll need to get the area inspected for hazards.
Of course, the specific rules and policies to getting the permit will depend on which state you live in. Some states have stricter rules while others are more lenient.
Does a pellet stove need a chimney?
Not necessarily. What a pellet stove needs are an exhaust pipe that would blow all the unwanted toxic fumes and gases that come from the stove out of the house.
If you would want to install a chimney to your pellet stove, you may do so for aesthetic purposes.
However, the least that you’ll need is just an exhaust pipe.
Is a wood stove better than a pellet stove?
While this generally depends on your needs, our experience would tell us that wood stoves are not at all better than pellet stoves. We would prefer pellet stoves for these several reasons:
- You don’t need to store big chunks of wood since pellet stoves only require small wood pellets.
- A traditional chimney doesn’t need to be built with a pellet stove.
- There are fewer carbon emissions as compared to wood stoves, making this a more eco-friendly option.
- Pellet stoves don’t use up as much energy like wood stoves do, saving you a bundle on your heating bill.
Those are the 7 of the best pellet stoves that we have reviewed for you to choose from. Now, if we were to pick one of the 7 choices as our top pick, that would be the most well-rounded one given the factors present in the buying guide. That means we’ll pick one that has a rather high BTU or has a high coverage, has a big hopper, and has a high-efficiency rating.
With that in mind, we pick the Pelpro Direct Vent Wood Pellet Stove as our top choice. This one has a total heat coverage of 2200 square feet (making it have a heat capacity of roughly 60,000 BTU), an efficiency rating of 86.5%, and a hopper size of 130 pounds.
We made this choice by comparing the features of all products with each other. With that as our basis, this brand definitely has the most versatile features.
How about you? Which one’s your fave?
- 1 Buyer’s Guide for the Best Pellet Stove
- 2 How Does Pellet Stove Work?
- 3 7 Best Pellet Stoves that You Should Definitely Check Out!
- 4 Pellet Stove Safety Tips
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Pellet Stove
- 6 Conclusion