Many homeowners are nowadays interested in using pellet stoves because of many benefits. However, the main reason these units are growing in popularity over the last decade is efficiency.
The most efficient pellet stove can be up to 90% efficient than wood-burning stoves or an open fire. That means only 10% of the energy generated by the pellets is lost in the chimney.
Since many people have noticed how efficient these heating units are, manufacturers have continued to improve their pellet stoves every year. Today, you’ll find new models with higher heating efficiency than older models.
If you’re not sure how to choose a high-efficiency pellet stove, this guide is for you. I’ve reviewed a few models on the market to help you make an informed decision.
Most Efficient Pellet Stove Comparison Table
Pros and Cons of Pellet Stoves
Here are some of the most significant benefits of using a pellet stove for heating your home. The benefits are based on a comparison of pellet stoves with several other methods of heating a home, including conventional burners, electric or space heaters, and electric fireplaces.
- High level of efficiency. The standard efficiency rate of pellet stoves is about 90%. Only 10% of the energy generated from the combustion process is lost in the chimney; the rest is successfully converted into heat energy. This efficiency rate is way higher than that of other alternative methods of heating homes. Traditional stoves have efficiency rates of about 50%.
- Affordable fuel. Pellets are cheaper than other alternative fuels such as propane or even kerosene. A 40lb bag of pellets may cost about $5 which is lower than the price of alternatives.
- Personalized heating. Pellet stoves have several settings for personalization, including built-in thermometers, and timers. You can program these features to make the time function according to your heating requirements. This helps to quickly create and maintain an excellent environment.
Here are a few important disadvantages of using pellet stoves
- The built-in fan in many pellet stoves is quite noisy. The noise produced by pellet stoves may be loud enough to cause a distraction when two or more people are having a soft conversation in a room.
- Pellet stoves require heavy maintenance for them to remain functional. This may include constant cleaning and removal of debris from compartments and other parts.
How Much Does It Cost to Run a Pellet Stove?
There are two variable costs of running a pellet stove: electricity and fuel. For assumption purposes, let us calculate the cost of running a standard pellet stove for 24 hours.
The cost of electricity can be determined by multiplying the number of hours by the capacity of the stove in kW and the average price of electricity per kW.
If a pellet stove has an operating wattage of 75w, the cost of electricity required to run it will be 0.075kW by the price of electricity per kW by 24 hours.
The cost of fuel required to run a pellet stove can be determined by multiplying the amount of fuel by the number of hours. One 40lb bag of pellets can run a standard pellet stove for 24 hours. The average price of a 40lb bag of pellets is $5. Therefore, the cost of fuel for running a pellet stove is 24 hours by $5.
The total of these two variables is the cost of running a pellet stove. This can vary according to the total number of hours that the stove runs.
Is It Cheaper To Run a Pellet Stove or Natural Gas?
Running a pellet stove is cheaper than a natural gas heater or even the most efficient wood stove. Primarily, there is no much difference in the cost of buying and installing pellet stoves and natural gas heaters. However, the differences between these two modes of heating become clear when you consider other factors.
Although natural gas is sold in bulk, it costs much more than pellets. Pellets are made of recycled materials and are packaged in small bags that weigh 40lb. The extraction and preparation processes for natural gas are more advanced; therefore, the product costs more than pellets.
Furthermore, pellet stoves are more efficient than natural gas burners. Some pellet stoves have efficiency rates of 90%, while gas burners may have efficiency rates of 70%. Therefore, the high-efficiency rates of pellet stoves help to keep the costs of running them down.
Are Pellet Stoves More Efficient than Electric Heat?
It is important to look at the big picture to get the right answer to this question. Pellet stoves have efficiency rates indicated on their casing. This figure may be anywhere between 75% and 90%.
This means that the stoves can convert up to 90% of the energy from the combustion of the fuel into heat energy.
Electric heaters can have 100% conversion rates. This means that they convert all the electric energy that they take from the mains into heat energy.
However, it is important to consider other factors that affect the overall efficiency rates of these two heating systems. Electric heaters use electricity which is produced from other sources.
The average efficiency of the production of electric power is 30%. Stoves use pellets that are manufactured from waste products, including sawdust.
When you factor in these other issues, then the efficiency rate of pellet stoves is higher than that of electric heaters.
Can a Pellet Stove Heat a Whole House?
To determine whether a pellet stove can be used to heat the whole house, it is necessary to consider how it works, the heating area, and other related factors. The heating requirements of a house are determined by many things, including the prevailing weather conditions, season, and space.
You will require a lot of heat during cold times of the day or night than the warm ones. Also, a lot of heating is needed during the wintry weather than the warm seasons. Additionally, the space of the house determines the amount of heating energy required for warmth.
Large houses need more energy than small ones. Also, houses with high ceilings require additional heating energy than those with normal ceiling heights because high-ceiling rooms have more space in the living zone than normal or low-ceiling rooms.
The mode of operation of a pellet stove is strong and effective enough to warm an entire house. A pellet stove draws in air through the pipes and chambers that are located in the firebox. The cool air is usually drawn from near the floor of the room in which the stove is installed.
Through the combustion of pellets, the cool air is effectively heated. Thereafter, it is forced out through a small fan into the living space in the room. Because of the effect of the fan, pellet stoves have high heating capacities. Some stoves can effectively warm spaces that are as big as 2,000 square space.
Also, some pellet stoves can be easily moved from one place to another. They can be used to heat one room after another because of their high level of portability and low running costs. Therefore, it is practical to use a pellet stove to heat the entire house.
How Long Will a 40 lb Bag of Pellets Burn?
A 40lb bag of pellets can burn for 24 hours. Some pellet stoves have large hopper spaces that can take as much as 50lb of pellets. Others have small hoppers that take only 20lb of pellets at a time.
When using pellet stoves that have small hoppers, you will have to refill them more frequently than when you are using stoves that have large hoppers.
Typically, you may need about a ton of pellets per year to keep your pellet stove burning for most of the time. You may need this amount of fuel if you use the pellet stove to heat the entire house.
The good news is that pellet prices are quite low. A 40lb bag of pellets costs only $5. Therefore, you will be spending only $5 per day on pellets to keep the stove burning round the clock.
Can I Leave My Pellet Stove On All Night?
Yes, you can leave your pellet stove on all night. Pellet stoves have been designed to run on a 24/7 basis. This means that you only need to switch it off when you need to perform routine cleaning and maintenance procedures. Otherwise, the pellet stove serves you well when let to run nonstop.
It is strongly recommended that you switch off your conventional electric heaters during the night because of the high level of danger that the devices pose when left unattended.
Electric heaters can easily cause fire accidents if they get into contact with highly combustible materials, including plastics, fabric, and paper. Similarly, electric heaters can cause fires if they get accidentally knocked to the floor.
Pellet stoves are more secure than electric heaters. The level of risk of electrocution is drastically reduced in pellet stoves compared to electric heaters. This is because pellet stoves use very little current for secondary processes as opposed to electric space heaters that convert electric energy into heat energy.
Moreover, people switch off their space heaters at night as a way of keeping the costs of heating their homes low. It is quite expensive to operate a typical space heater that converts electric energy into heat energy.
Pellet stoves, on the other hand, are affordable because they use cheap-priced pellets. Therefore, leaving your pellet stove on for the entire night will not have a significant change in the total costs of heating the home.
Will a Pellet Stove Increase Homeowners’ Insurance?
A pellet stove can increase your homeowner’s insurance. The presence of a pellet stove in a house considerably increases the risk of fire outbreaks. Because homeowner’s insurance plans cover against risks such as fire outbreaks, having a pellet stove installed in a house is likely to increase the level of the risk covered.
As a result, the number of premiums paid under plans for covering houses that have pellet stoves is higher than those for houses that do not have pellet stoves.
When either buying a house that already has a pellet stove or installing a new device in your home, ensure that you notify your insurance company. The insurance company will conduct a few processes to ensure that all administrative hurdles associated with covering a house with an enhanced fire risk are ironed out.
The company will check that the installation is done by a certified technician. This step helps to prevent the occurrence of a dispute between you and the insurance cover if your house catches fire and the company realizes that the installation was not done by a certified person.
Also, the insurance company will check if the installation is done according to the relevant local fire codes. This still will help to prevent disputes in the event of a fire.
Most Efficient Pellet Stove Reviews 2021
1. Castle Pellet Stoves 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove
- Reinvent the way you heat your home with Castle's Serenity wood pellet stove and new Smart Controller
- The Smart Controller allows you to choose manual, thermostat, and weekly operational modes to heat your home on your schedule, Along with calendar and time based heating options, you can also set a local thermostat or manually set it on one of five burn levels
- As with any Castle Pellet Stove, you'll experience affordability, style, and practicality. Its space-saving shape and attractive design will make it a welcomed addition to any room, and with the new Smart Controller, heating your home efficiently on your terms has never been easier
- The Serenity Stove is designed to be easy to clean - there are no tubes, corrugations, or hidden chambers
- Operating Wattage 77 Watts (W), Voltage 120 Volts (V), Greater than 69.8% thermal efficiency, 1500 square feet heating capacity
The Castle Pellet Stoves 12327 is a perfect choice if you need to heat large indoor spaces rapidly. This heater is capable of producing full heat within seven minutes after being switched on. It helps to create a cozy environment within a short time.
Moreover, the built-in thermostat can be quite useful in helping you personalize the performance of the stove. By setting the desired temperature settings, you can effectively adjust the performance of the stove to the heating requirements of your house.
Additionally, the Castle Pellet Stoves 12327 may be the right choice for you because it is quite easy to maintain. The stove lacks sophisticated systems that may need to be cleaned regularly. Thus, you will find it easy to keep the stove in excellent working condition for a long time.
However, this stove is quite noisy when operating in any mode. But this is a small price to pay, considering the excellent performance of the stove and its ability to keep large spaces warm.
- It has advanced control features, including a thermostat for personalized heating
- The stove requires minimal maintenance procedures
- It has up to five burn levels for effective heating of indoor spaces
- The stove is quite noisy when operating
2. Pelpro PP130 Pellet Stove
- PPHE200 Hopper Extension is an option accessory that increases pellet stove hopper capacity by an additional 200 lbs., so you enjoy continuous heating in any space including older houses, tiny homes, mobile homes, cabins, workshops, and garages
- EPA Certified hopper extender increases the PelPro PP150 pellet stove's hopper capacity to 350 lbs. and the PelPro PP130 heater's capacity to 330 lbs., more than doubling burn time between fills
- Hopper capacity extension is an optional accessory for PelPro pellet stoves that use economical wooden pellets as fuel for an efficient, reliable, and affordable heat source
- PelPro hopper capacity accessory is part of PelPro's collection of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) appliances that make financial sense and are designed to meet the emissions standards of all 50 states
- Featuring a 200-lb. capacity, our pellet stove hopper extension measures 28" W x 29" H x 27 1/2" D
The PP130-B is a versatile pellet stove that is capable of effectively warming large indoor spaces that are up to 2,500 square feet. It has powerful fans that effectively distribute the heated air to provide a warm and comfortable environment.
The hopper of the pellet stove is large enough to accommodate 130lb of pellets at a time. This amount of pellet enough to keep the stove running for 96 hours. The high runtime gives you great convenience because you do not have to refill the hopper often as is the case when you use a stove with a small heating capacity.
It is easy to personalize the performance of the stove according to the heating requirements of your home, thanks to the controls. You can adjust the burning rate, heating capacity, and timing by using the programmable thermostat.
However, the surface of this stove hots up after some time. It is unsafe to touch the stove when it is burning. Besides, you have to wait for long for it to cool down before you carry out basic cleaning and maintenance work.
- Effective heating for large spaces that measure up to 2,500 square feet
- Great controls, including heating settings and a programmable thermostat for personalization
- Compliant with EPA guidelines for enhanced efficiency
- The surface of the stove becomes quite hot after some time
3. US Stove 5660 Bay Front Pellet Stove
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The US Stove 5660 is a stylish pellet stove with excellent performance and unique design. It has a large glass bay for enhanced display. You can take advantage of the all-around bay and positioning of the pellet stove at home to create an amazing focal point in your living room. Besides, the black finish of the pellet stove easily blends with modern décor styles.
A good pellet stove is one that can be adjusted across a broad range of heating capabilities. The US Stove 5660 has six heating settings that can be used to match the heating requirements of your home.
Furthermore, it is very easy to change the way the stove functions because it has a great LED display and highly responsive onboard controls.
Despite the sleek design, heating capability, and easy-to-manage controls, this stove has one flaw. Its hopper is particularly small. You have to repeatedly refill it with pellets to keep the stove going for long.
- The expanded bay enhances the aesthetic appeal of the pellet stove
- It has 6 heat settings for personalized heating and comfort
- Users can easily control the performance of the stove using digital controls and the LED display
- The pellet hopper is quite small and requires constant feeding
4. Cleveland Iron Works PS20W-CIW Pellet Stove
- This stove qualifies for a 30% IRS Biomass Stove Tax Credit
- Built-in WiFi – Smart Home Technology
- Heats 800 to 1200 sq ft
- 18 lb large capacity hopper capacity
- Digital control panel and remote included
- Equipped with Whisper Quiet Blower Technology
- Fresh air supply kit included
One of the most notable features of the PS20W-CIW Pellet Stove is its compatibility with smart home networks. You can connect it with other devices at home and use any suitable software virtual assistant technology, including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Through the smart home technology that is embedded in the stove, it is easy to determine when and how you heat your home.
The small footprint of the pellet stove can be a great advantage if you need to move the device around the home. Although the stove does not have a handle for mobility, it is still easy to carry it from one place to another.
The high level of portability may also help to improve the efficiency of heating your home because you can carry out zonal heating.
The PS20W-CIW Pellet Stove is a great device but has some flaws. Notably, its fan, which speeds up the heating process, is quite noisy. Although the noise is not loud enough to disrupt a normal conversation, it, nevertheless, can interfere with you if you require total silence at home.
- Compatible with a smart home network
- Very portable because of its small footprint
- Great heating capacity (suitable for 800 square feet space)
- The fans of the stove are quite noisy
5. Napoleon TPI35 Pellet Stove Insert
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The Napoleon TP135 has been built to last and deliver value for money. Its casing is made of high-quality metals to keep the stove in excellent working condition for a long time.
Apart from durability, this pellet stove has several other attractive features. Its powerful blower (120CFM) complements a huge hopper capacity of about 45lb to deliver reliable heating for, particularly large spaces. You can confidently use the stove to heat areas that measure up to 2,000 square feet.
The stove has been certified for efficiency and safety. It has passed all the relevant EPA guidelines for the safe burning of pellets. Therefore, you can make decent savings in the amount of money that you spend on fuel by using Napoleon TPI35 for heating the home.
However, you will have to bear with the noise that is produced by the convection fan of the pellet stove. This may be a big problem if you need the home to be completely silent.
- A large hopper measuring 45lb for extended burning
- Certified according to EPA guidelines for efficiency and safety
- Very durable because of the use of high-quality materials for the body
- The pellet stove is loud when in use
6. Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22- 50,000 BTU
- Heats up to 2,800 sq. feet
- Large viewing area - Bay Design - Carbon Black!
- Powerful Blower. 110 Volt. Easy to clean. NOT VENTLESS
- 55 lbs. Hopper Capacity,Auto Ignition, Ash Pan, Programmable Thermostat
- EPA and CSA Compliant and Certified
The Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22 is a perfect combination of advanced controls and excellent performance. With a hopper space of 55lb and an efficiency rate of 86%, this stove can be a great companion when you need to heat large spaces.
When the stove is operating optimally, it delivers 55,000BTUs. This amount of heat energy is enough to effectively warm large spaces that measure up to 2,800 square feet.
It is worth mentioning the level of efficiency of this stove. Most pellet stoves have lower heating efficiency than 86% and take more than 7 minutes before they start producing full heat. However, this stove takes as little as 6 minutes to achieve full burn status.
Moreover, it successfully converts 86% of the fuel into electric energy. Thus, it can be a good heating solution for your home if you are keen on the expenses.
However, the view area is not as large as one would expect. There are many brands of pellet stoves that have view areas that are larger than that of the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22.
- Excellent heating capacity suitable for 2,800 square feet space
- High-efficiency rate of 86%
- A massive hopper space of 55lb
- The view area is not as large as one would expect it to be
7. Deari Serenity Wood Pellet Stove
Finding a pellet stove that strikes the perfect balance between portability and performance is difficult. Stoves with excellent performance are usually large, bulky, and heavy. Conversely, highly portable and lightweight ones often score low on performance.
However, the Deari Serenity Wood Pellet Stove seems to be one of the devices that are both portable and score excellently in performance. It has an elegant modern style, a black finish, and a free-standing design that complements its lightweight nature.
Weighing only 143 lb, the stove is lighter than many others which are designed for warming standard spaces. The stove has an efficiency rate of 85.6% and can be used to heat spaces that measure up to 750 square feet.
Thanks to the smart controller feature and four heating modes, you can not only personalize the performance of this stove but also ensure that it poses minimal dangers to the environment.
The smart controller helps the stove to adjust its heating capacity to the heating requirements of the room. However, because of the small hopper, you will have to refill this stove more often than it is the case with stoves that have large hoppers.
- Highly portable and has a small footprint
- It has a unique and elegant design with a modern black finish
- The four heating settings make it easy for users to customize the performance of the stove
- The hopper is small
Different models of pellet stoves are available on the market. The challenge is choosing the most efficient pellet stoves for your home or office.
The best approach when selecting these heating units is to consider your needs. Don’t be swayed by the reviews or a lot of extra features that a specific stove might have.
As long as you know the type of stove you want for your home, it’s the right size/heat output and has a few important features that you’d like your stove to have, you’re all set. Every other thing should be a secondary thought.
If you still can’t find the best pellet stove, try Castle Pellet Stoves 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller.