Best Pellet Stoves: An Efficient and Effective Way to Warm your Room.
In the recent years, pellet stoves have become quite popular.
Because they are easy to clean, maintain, and have modern features like power modulation and automatic ignition.
If you are planning to purchase a pellet stove, then three most important factors to analyse are…
It is provided in terms of BTU and usually ranges from 35000 BTU or 50000 BTU that differs from model to model. In comparison with each other, a higher heating capacity provides better performance.
It tells you about the maximum area a pellet stove can effectively heat up. While some models are made for a 1500 square feet area, others might even heat up a 2800 square feet area. You have to choose based on the room size.
Pellet stoves come in two models – 400 watt or 600-watt pellet. Among them, the lower rating of 400 watts is the better one since it consumes less.
NOTE: For more information on how to choose pellet stove, we recommend reading our buying guide. It helps you make an informed choice.
Based on the same information, our testing team has shortlisted Best Pellet Stoves. You can choose any one among them based on your requirements.
4 Best Pellet Stoves
4 Best Pellet Stoves Reviews
Comfortbilt is a brand of pellet stoves that is known for making highly powerful models that can be a great pick for heavy-duty usage during winters in large scale buildings.
The Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22-SS is present in the 1st position in this article as it is the most powerful option present in this article. You get the highest heating capacity of 50000 BTU with this pellet stove that is quite higher than most other options. Since you also get an equally high heating area of 2800 square feet, using this pellet stove in large scale buildings is quite easy.
Just like most other pellet stoves out there, this one also offers a 1-year long warranty that is quite decent, especially when combined with its great build quality. While the price tag is a bit on the higher side, the overall design with the glass window offered by this pellet stove is quite premium and should make a great pick for most users out there.
- Heating capacity of 50000 BTU
- Heating area of 2800 square feet
- Comes with a 1-year long warranty
- Most powerful pellet stove
- Great build quality
- Great looking glass window on the front
When compared with other options out there, Castle is a brand of pellet stove that is known for highly reliable options because of their durability and warranty that is quite high.
Castle’s 12327 Serenity Wood pellet stove is present in the 2nd position in this article as it is the most durable and reliable product present in this article. This one offers an excellent build quality to the user that is much stronger and better than others. Since it is also backed by a 5-year long warranty, you can expect it to last for a long time easily.
Talking about its performance, you get a decent heating capacity of 35000 BTU that is quite great for home use. Although, the heating area rating of 1500 square feet is a bit on the lower side as it leaves the user wanting more. As for its power consumption, it uses just 77 watts making it highly power efficient.
- Heating capacity of 35000 BTU
- Heating area of 1500 square feet
- Comes with a 5-year long warranty
- Excellent build quality
- Highly durable and reliable pellet stove
- High power efficiency
Pleasant Hearth is one of the most popular options out there that has a wide range of stove products, which generally offer a pretty high user rating because of the various features that you get.
This Pleasant Hearth Medium pellet stove is present in the 3rd position in this article as it has a high user rating. You get a pretty decent heating capacity of 35000 BTU along with a great heating area rating of 1750 square feet that is quite good for most home usage needs. It can offer this an 85 percent EPA certified efficiency.
Just like most other options out there, this Pleasant Hearth pellet stove also offers a 1-year long warranty that is quite decent. Unfortunately, the build quality offered by this pellet stove is just average and could have been much better at the given price tag. A great thing about this pellet stove is that it offers a 5 setting thermostat for changing the temperature of your room quite easily.
- Heating capacity of 35000 BTU
- Heating area of 1750 square feet
- Comes with a 1-year long warranty
- Easy to use thermostat
- High efficiency
- Decent power rating
While US Stove Company is a lesser-known brand of pellet stoves compared to others, it offers some of the most unique features that offer a great user experience.
The US Stove 5660 Bay Front pellet stove offers some of the most unique features to the user. You get a 120 CFM air blower in this pellet stove that ensures that the heat produced by it gets evenly spread in your room. Since you also get a 6 heat setting thermostat in it, you can easily change the temperature according to your needs. It allows you to change these things using a digital control board along with an LED screen for ease of use.
As for its performance numbers, you get a pretty high heating capacity of 43900 BTU as well as a pretty high 2200 square feet. These things make this pellet stove more than enough for most users out there. You also get a pretty decent build quality with this pellet stove for reliability. Unfortunately, this pellet stove only offers a 30 days long warranty that is quite low compared to other options.
- Heating capacity of 43900 BTU
- Heating area of 2200 square feet
- Comes with a 30-day long warranty
- Quite high power rating
- Offers multiple control options
- Decent build quality
- Only a 30-day long warranty
Buying Guide For The Best Pellet Stove
There are some factors which you have to consider to find out the right pellet stove for your home heating requirements. Here we have listed a few most essential factors to check out before its purchase.
1. Heating Power:
British Thermal Units (BTUs) is used to measure the maximum amount of heat produced by pellet stove in an hour. Consider the size of your house (sq. ft) and other factors like climatic conditions, the height of the ceiling, etc. to know about the right amount of heat required.
In general, the pellet stoves come with a heating capacity from 10,000 BTU (for smallest stoves) to 90,000 BTU (for largest stoves). Most people prefer to use pellet stoves with a capacity of 40,000 – 60,000 BTU.
To simplify this, we calculated the heating capacity of a pellet stove required based common sizes of modern homes (square footages).
|Size of House (Square Footage)||Heating Capacity of Pellet Stove (BTU)|
|600 sq ft||18,000 BTU|
|800 sq ft||24,000 BTU|
|1000 sq ft||30,000 BTU|
|1200 sq ft||36,000 BTU|
|1400 sq ft||42,000 BTU|
|1600 sq ft||48,000 BTU|
|2000 sq ft||60,000 BTU|
|2200 sq ft||60,000 BTU|
|2400 sq ft||72,000 BTU|
Note – For 1 square footage area, you require a pellet stove with a heating capacity of 30 BTU.
However, most pellet stove manufacturers list the maximum square footage they stove can heat up but they are not the same as recommended by DOE directives.
For instance, a stove with 48000 BTU capacity will heat a 1600 sq ft. area, whereas the manufacturer specifies that it can heat spaces for up to 2500 sq ft. Even though it works under some specific conditions but practically, you have to purchase a stove with 48000 BTU for a 1600 sq ft area.
Also, consider various factors like your space insulation, ceiling height, outside climate, how cold your home gets during winter or whether this pellet stove is the only heat source or have another source affecting heating ability in your home.
2. Hopper Capacity:
The hopper is like a basket that holds the pellets in place and its capacity can vary widely, like from 25 lbs to 120 lbs. So, the larger the capacity of the pellet hopper, the less frequently you need to refill it with pellets.
For instance, a pellet stove with a small hopper capacity will let you refill it twice daily during cold months. While for a stove with a larger hopper capacity, you have to fill it once every other day.
Practically, a pellet stove burns a 40-pounds basket of pellets in 14 – 24 hours.
Also, the hopper capacity depends on heat settings. The higher the heat setting, the shorter the time your stove will take to burn all of these pellets. To get rid of this problem, you can use hopper extensions to double the burn time. You can easily find it in any store.
3. Types of Pellet Stoves:
There are two main types of pellet stoves available. They are…
- Free-Standing Pellet Stove
- Pellet Stove Insert (for existing fireplace and chimney)
Let’s know about them in detail.
Free-Standing Pellet Stove – It suits perfectly for those who don’t have any fireplace. All you need is to choose the area where to place this pellet stove. Also, check the manual before you decide to buy the stove to know whether the stove will meet the space requirements or not. It is mentioned in the manual about the minimum space between the combustible materials and stove.
Pellet Stove Insert – Already have an existing fireplace, then simply select the pellet insert that fits perfectly into your existing place. But before its purchase, make sure to have a professional inspection to check out for its suitability and safety requirements.
4. Top Fed or Bottom Fed Hopper:
A pellet hopper can be either top-fed or bottom-fed.
Bottom Fed Hopper – It comes with a horizontal auger, which removes clinkers (lumps of hardened ash) automatically and keeps the stove clean. It can bricier than top-feeding hopper stoves. But the bottom-fed hoppers are not as efficient as the top ones. As a result, a bag of pellets e seen mostly in electric stoves. Since it moves the clinkers automatically into the ash pan, you won’t have to feed with premium pellets. This makes it a bit pwon’t last for a long time.
Top Fed Hopper – The most commonly used stove with auger and hopper is placed at the top of this unit. It is found in both electric and non-electric stoves. Here an inclined surface is used to move the pellets from the hopper to the combustion chamber. You have to use high-quality low ash pellets (more costly) rather than low-quality pellets, which may block the combustion chamber. With its design, the pellets ignite in hopper and clinkers (ash) will end up in the combustion chamber, and if you won’t clean with fire pokers, they can obstruct ventilation.
5. Pellet Types:
Wood and corn are the two most common types of pellets available in the market. However, there are a few other types like biomass fuel or nutshells, which are not used mostly. Also, the design of each stove will let them burn only a specific pellet type.
So, before purchasing a pellet stove, you have to check with your local retailers to ensure that you will get pellets all the time in great quantity. However, the cost of a 40-pound pellet bag will be around $20 – $40. Also, find out a supplier who can guarantee a low price before you buy a stove.
Also, check the weight of the pellets bag and when once you opened, it’s better to place them all in the hopper to prevent pellets from becoming damp or knocked over.
6. Efficiency Rating:
You have to know how much fuel turns to energy before checking out the overall combustion efficiency of a pellet stove. Generally, we observe the combustion efficiency at a rate of 75% – 90% for these pellet stoves.
You can simply calculate the efficiency by using this formula.
Efficiency percentage = (input BTU/output BTU) * 100
Here the input BTU means the maximum amount of fuel a pellet stove consumes to work per hour. While BTU output refers to how much heat this stove delivers to the room. Thus, you will get the efficiency of a pellet stove in terms of percentage.
With this, you came to know how much heat generated in a pellet stove is used in the home. The higher efficiency of the stove, the more cost-effective the heater will run and heat the room.
7. Size of Stove:
Irrespective of the model you choose to purchase, it will occupy some space in your room. So, the size of the pellet stove is essential to consider for those who lack space (space issues). Always select the model that fits perfectly in your central room.
There should be enough space between the surrounding walls and the pellet stove, or else the walls get overheat. In case, space is your problem, then simply place a tall pellet stove with a smaller footprint. While the larger one has its advantages. The larger the unit, the more heat it can produce.
Also, it is important to check the amount of area you want to heat up. For instance, would you like to cover the entire home, then a larger unit is your best option. In case, looking to heat a room (or) having a small home, then a smaller one will suit perfectly.
The pellet stove is designed to work either as a free-standing appliance or fit inside the existing chimneys and fireplaces. So, the installation process depends on the type of stove you purchase.
Free-Standing Models – Most of these are operated right after taking it out of the box, whereas a few other models need to install an exhaust vent in a nearby wall for its proper working. Most manufacturers include the material required to install the vent while purchasing the pellet stove.
Fireplace Insert Pellet Stove Models – Even though, they are easy to install but may have to consult a professional for their installation due to the special lining of your existing chimney. The installation cost can range from $600 – $2000 based on the model and type of the stove.
9. Pellet Stove Material:
The type of material used for making a pellet stove will determine its ability to transfer heat and durability. Since the stove is hot outside while functioning, you should keep away the children and pets, when the stove is on.
If the exterior part of the pellet stove is made with the best quality cast metals, then it ensures durability to work even under extremely high temperature. So, make sure to check the material before its purchase.
It is not suggested to use any heating appliances, including this pellet stove at its full power. As it results in getting extremely hot inside the room and pellet stove itself as well. So, the pellet stoves have controls (basic or advanced) to operate them safely. A thermostat is the most commonly found control option among various pellet stoves.
A thermostat with its heat setting options will let you change the temperature of the stove, as per your requirement. One can find basic (entry-level) pellet stove models having 3 – 4 heat setting options, whereas moderate models have 6 – 7 heat settings to provide better control over the heat output.
In some case, fan controls are also found in pellet stoves with a blower fan for some heat convection and to prevent it from overheating. They draw cool air and circulates the warm air all around.
11. Venting Requirements:
Similar to wood-burning models, most of the pellet stoves has to be vented for proper expulsion of smoke and gases, which is caused due to burning of the pellet fuel. A fan is used to clear the gas and smoke, which can be vented either vertically (through the ceiling) or horizontally (through a wall).
However, the venting requirements depend on the stove’s model. So, be sure to check out whether or not your stove is compatible with your venting needs. Also, the ventilation system of a pellet stove should comply with the local housing codes.
12. EPA Certified or Approved:
It is always best to purchase an EPA certified or approved pellet stove. This will indicate that your stove will meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Act and thus guarantees that your stove produces low emission levels and releases clean air into your space.
Even though, the wood pellets (wood) is an eco-friendly heat source. So, the wood pellets burn efficiently with little smoke and thus cause less pollution. For every ton of pellets use, the emission of carbon dioxide will be reduced by 1.5 tons, instead of using any oil fuel.
The pellet stove is considered a one-time investment for most people and has to last longer. So, it’s essential to check the build quality of the stove before its purchase. A pellet stove with a metal construction is reliable, durable and last for a longer time. Apart from this, one has to check the warranty offered by the manufacturer to their pellet stove. Mostly, these stoves come with a 1-year warranty, against any manufacturing defects.
14. Seek Professional Help:
To prevent you from ending up with the wrong choice, most experts suggest to consult a professional and seek their advice before buying a pellet heater. Even though, you did some basic research on it. As they take a look at various factors like the area to be heated (home size), stove size (small or large), layouts (an open area or having many rooms) and home insulation. This will help you in choosing the right pellet stove as per your heating requirements.
You can find these pellet stoves in various styles, like from traditional to modern or ultra-modern. A few models will allow you to choose from different colors, finishes and trims to suit your home décor or heating needs.
Want to enjoy the beauty of wood fire, then a pellet stove with a glass viewing panel in the door will be your best option. Since it not only adds a warm glow to cozy heat output but also brightens up your tedious days.
6. Other Features:
Here are some additional features, which you have to take into account while purchasing the pellet stove. Have a look at them.
- Electricity Requirements – A constant power supply is required to operate the pellet stoves. So, be sure to fit the stove near the power outlet for its proper functioning. Also, there are energy-efficient from 63% – 85%. The more energy efficient a stove is, the less energy it is required to run effectively.
- Weight – Generally, these stoves are heavyweight. Even the small stove will weigh about 75 pounds, whereas the larger one may weigh nearly 400 pounds. At least 2 – 3 persons are required to maneuver this stove into a place where you want to set-up.
- Ceiling Height – It is essential to set the pellet stove at the right ceiling height. If the ceiling height is higher than it has more space in the room and has to need a pellet stove with high BTU capacity to heat the area. While lower ceilings tend to have small, confined space and thus a stove with low BTU is enough to heat.
- Floor Surface – One has to place this pellet stove on fire-resistant flooring surfaces. In case, if you want to install the pellet stove in a room that is carpeted or has hardwood or vinyl flooring. Then the pellet stove needs a fireplace hearth pad or panel.
- Glass Viewing Panel – Most people love to see the wood/fire burning. So, most of these stove models come with a glass viewing panel. Choose the one that matches your room aesthetics. Also, you should clean this glass regularly by using air wash technology or any others.
- Automatic Features – Want to set the stove and forget about operating it manually. Then these automatic features like automatic thermostat control to adjust the automatic pellet ignition and blower speed.
17. Safety Features:
A pellet stove is considered a safe option than a traditional wood stove. They have various safety features like add-ons to your pellet stoves. They are
- Auto shut-off – Turn off the stove by monitoring burn rate and temperature.
- Pressure Switch – Shut down the feed motor if front or ash door is opened and detect the working of venting system.
- Exhaust Sensing Probe – Turn off whenever abnormal/high temperature is detected.
Pros and Cons of Pellet Stoves:
Have a look at some of the pros and cons of pellet stoves, which you have to know before buying this pellet stove.
- Its operating cost is less than using propane or oil furnaces.
- It is small and compact that fits perfectly in any space without existing ductwork.
- Pellets, especially pine will burn cleaner and efficient than traditional wood.
- It is easy to install, easy to use and affordable when compared with other heating sources.
- Most people enjoy watching a pellet fire burn from a view window.
- With less moisture content in the pellet (<8%), they produce more heat and far less ash.
- It let you control the temperature by using a control system either manually or a remote controller. A few models allow you to set them by using a mobile app.
- The pellet stoves are more efficient (80% or above) than a traditional fireplace.
- These are environment friendly, as they produce less carbon dioxide and less ash.
- The pellet stove produces less creosote and thus keep you safe from any potential chimney fires.
- Its repair cost and maintenance are a bit higher than other types of heat sources.
- A little bit expensive when compared with an infrared heater or electric heater.
- Regular cleaning of ash box and need to refill the hopper.
- The pellets are unavailable in some areas, which makes it to buy in bulk and store them properly (outside the home).
- They cause a little bit noisy while buying.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Venting is essential to clear-off any hazardous by-products caused due to combustion. So, a pellet stove should have good venting for a safe and effective operation. The venting kits are available for pellet stove from dealers and found online.
A pellet stove on average can last for about 15 – 20 years. Though, its life expectancy will depend on the quality of the stove and how well you maintain them. So, all you need is to purchase the best quality stove and maintain it properly to make it useful for a longer time.
While manufacturing the wood pellets, it comes with an element of impurities called clinker, which is not ignited properly during the combustion process. Here the clinker is a combined mass of these impurities and resembles a bunch of ash. For this, you have to use low ash pellets to minimize the possibility of forming clinkers and thus it ensures to have a clean stove.
They are both electric pellet stoves and non-electric pellet stoves available in the market.
Most people prefer to use electric pellet stoves, which ignites quickly and distributes the heat evenly around the room. They need a constant supply of electrical power to run the auger (motor) and feed the pellets into a fire for operating the stove.
This type of stoves won’t suit people living in areas without any access to electricity. In that case, non-electric pellet stoves are the best option. They use gravity to feed the pellets into the firebox. These are used as either a primary heat source or a backup power source if there are frequent power outages in that area. They heat radiantly and spread heat eventually in the room but takes time.
Most people think that pellet stoves are costlier, as they consume electricity to operate but they require around 3 watts of electricity only and a few models consume even less power.
The wood pellets release carbon monoxide gas while storing them. This can be toxic and result in poisoning. So, the pellets have to be stored outside the home with enough ventilation and also, they should have no access from pets and children.
However, heating pellets are eco-friendly but they may harm you, if not stored properly. Also, it is essential to caution your family about them and ensure that no harm will happen to them.
A great thing about pellet stoves is that they are electric and quite easy to use since adding more wood pellets is quite easy. Since these pellets are made out of wood, you get very similar characteristics to that of a wooden stove. Hence, we have mentioned some of the best pellet stoves up above in this article.
You can also find their major features and options along with a detailed buying guide so that you can easily buy the perfect one. However, if you are still confused and cannot choose the correct pellet stove, consider buying one from our recommendations:
The Comfortbilt pellet stove is the most powerful option present in this article that is ideal for heavy-duty usage. Its heating capacity of 50000 BTU is much higher than other pellet stoves and should be more than enough for most people. Since you get a high heating area rating of 2800 square feet, you can easily use it in large spaces.
You should consider the Castle pellet stove if you want a highly durable and reliable option for home-usage. Other than offering a great build quality, you also get a 5-year long warranty with it that makes it highly reliable. As for its performance, it offers a decent heating capacity of 3500 BTU and a heating area capacity of 1500 square feet.
US Stove’s company pellet stove is one of the only options out there that comes with a blower fan to distribute its heating capacity of 43900 BTU properly. You also get a pretty high heating area of 2200 square feet. While the warranty is just 30 days long, the build quality offered by this pellet stove is quite decent.
Although, there are wide varieties of home appliances used to keep you warm during cold seasons. But these pellet stoves are considered the best option. They include a heating stove to burn the pellets properly and spread the heat uniformly throughout the room.
We hope the above information will help you in selecting the best pellet stove. Still, if you have any queries, post them in the below comments section.