So you are exploring new and efficient home heating options, and you’re considering adding a wood-powered utility. You have narrowed your choices down to either a wood or pellet stove but aren’t sure which way to go. There are many considerations, including lifestyle fit, product benefits, and required maintenance.
Wood and pellet stoves both come in a wide array of colors and styles. They can also both be installed almost anywhere in your home. Regardless of your chosen aesthetic, you’ll likely find a pellet or wood stove that fits both your budget and style.
When comparing initial purchase and installation costs, pellet stoves are generally more cost-efficient. It’s not uncommon for wood-burning stoves to cost as much as $2,000 more than a comparable pellet stove. The pellet advantage only multiplies when you account for installation costs. Homeowners can ventilate pellet stoves through a small hole in an outside wall, whereas wood stoves require a more complex and expensive chimney setup.
While wood stoves are slightly less expensive to fuel, many homeowners lack the additional space to store bulky wood logs. Wood pellets also burn longer than traditional wood, reducing the necessary trips between wood storage and the furnace.
Regardless of your preference, investing in a pellet stove or wood stove could save you considerably on your annual heating bill, and many states offer incentives for installing such energy-efficient heat sources. Both wood and pellet stoves can effectively heat your entire home on their own or can supplement traditional heating systems. With that said, pellet stoves traditionally heat more efficiently than their wood stove counterparts. According to the Pellet Fuels Institute, pellet stoves heat your home with 83% efficiency, compared to 70% for wood stoves. If you are looking for the most efficient way to stay warm, pellet stoves could be the way to go.
One should never discount safety when considering a new heating unit. Both wood and pellet stoves, when used correctly, offer minimal safety hazards. However, with a wood stove, you do run a greater risk of embers and sparks. Pellet stoves contain their source flames and can ultimately reduce the risk of house fires. The primary safety concern for pellet stoves is that it can become hot to the touch. Homeowners should limit the access of pets and small children to prevent burn injuries. Though neither poses high safety risks, pellet stoves can be a relatively safer option for your family.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to choose a heat source that fits your lifestyle. While both pellet and wood stoves require maintenance, most homeowners can maintain a pellet stove on their own. Compare this to wood stoves that generally require regular chimney sweeps.
Pellet stoves also allow homeowners to regulate and maintain consistent heat using a thermostat that controls the stove temperature with the touch of a few buttons. Comparatively, wood stoves require homeowners to kindle their fires periodically to ensure consistent burns.
Wood stoves and pellet stoves are both great investments in your home heating system. They both allow you to save on heating costs and come in different styles to match your home. Yet, pellet stoves offer added efficiency and convenience that wood stoves can’t match. Are you ready to heat your home? Then a pellet stove may be right for you!